Today started like any other Monday with a kitchen to clean and bread to bake. Before I started all that though, I had to take the kids outside with me to water the horses. I wanted to check on Moola too, of course. I’d peeked out Sadie’s bedroom window a couple times and Moola wasn’t out eating, which was slightly unusual. Darryl had texted me when he left for work saying she was fine.
I was kind of expecting SOMETHING to be happening when I climbed into her pen and she still hadn’t poked her head out the barn door. I heard a quiet moo before I was even at the door, and then I KNEW something was going on cause she never does that. Fully expecting her to be laying there grunting, I peek into the barn and there’s a calf! Moola’s licking it and it’s standing there still wet all over! I just missed it. It was almost 9:30 in the morning so she’d done the whole deed in less than 2 hours!
Then I got all excited and called Sadie over to see it.
Then I kinda freaked out thinking about all the things I had to do RIGHT THEN.
The calf was cold, so I needed to grab towels to help dry it off.
I was supposed to give Moola a calcium drench (where you shove a bottle down her throat so she swallows it all. It’s just calcium dissolved in water).
I needed to help the little calf (a boy!) find his source of sustenance, but since he was having a bit of trouble (you know, 10 minutes after he was born), I needed to milk colostrum into the calf bottle and feed it to him myself.
I needed to get my camera.
I needed to give Moola some alfalfa hay.
I needed to give Moola some water.
I needed to take a video of the little guy on my phone.
I needed to post a pic on facebook and instagram.
I needed to call Darryl and tell him the news (he wasn’t answering his phone cause he was at work, so I called his boss and relayed the message through him).
I needed to call SOMEONE else to help me get all that done and keep my kids from freezing (they were getting cold and bored out there in the barn with me). It was a cold morning and snowing (cause we needed more).
So I did all that (except the drench…she did NOT want that bottle in her mouth).
THEN I watered the horses.
My friend Jessica came over partway through and took pictures (I’ll post her pics when I get them), cause my hands were too dirty to be carrying my camera around. Then she took all the kids (she has 3) inside to warm up while I finished up. Couldn’t have done it without her!
Since the calf is a boy, we will be selling him right away, and possibly buying a beef calf to raise instead. Jersey steers don’t get enough meat on them to justify buying hay for him for a year, and we definitely are not equipped to keep a bull, especially a jersey since they’re extra nasty.
I went out during nap time to feed the calf again. He drank more than 3 pints.
After that I hung around just watching them. So amazing. I think I witnessed the calf’s first pee. He seemed not really sure what was going on but he went with it. Then his head would hang down and it sounded like he was snoring, and soon one leg would give out and he’d catch himself. Like he’s trying to sleep standing up, with his eyes half open.
I could tell Moola was uncomfortable cause she was pawing bedding up at her belly. Eventually, she lay down and started chewing her cud as her placenta eased out bit by bit. Suddenly, she stood up and the rest of it slid out. She turned around and proceeded to snarfle it up as fast as she could.
I left after a couple minutes of that. If I was any more squeamish I think I would have been sick.
It’s so amazing to watch this little calf who doesn’t seem as small as he should be. Other than being a little wobbly, he looks like he’s a week or two old already. I don’t know how he fit inside her. Such a miracle.
She talks to him lots. Just little grunts and short moos.
He still hasn’t found Moola’s teats, probably cause they’re hanging just inches from the ground. Her udder is FULL. My hands haven’t milked in 3 months, so I think they’ll be sore tomorrow, and the next day, just from milking a couple quarts of colostrum, which is brownish orangish and very thick, in case you were curious. Baby loves it. I am not going to taste it to see if it’s actually sweet, though I am curious. Maybe I’ll get Darryl to taste it. He’ll eat anything. Hehe.
We did come up with a name for him, but it’ll probably be transferred to beef calf if we can get one.