Sassy Mama

Today was one of those “cold as the blazes” March winter days.  It didn’t help that yesterday was a balmy, warm, short-sleeve kind of day.  This morning we woke up to sleet pouring down like rain followed by a heavy, wet snow that fell all day.  It was hard to believe it only amounted to 3 inches.

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This afternoon Gene came in and said, “”This is a South Dakota day”!  In other words, it is a cold, winter day on this Virginia farm and he has a mama cow needing help!  He had a first-time heifer trying to calf. She was in the pasture running around like a wild, sassy mama with the feet of the calf sticking out. She would not let him near and let it be clear she would take him on if he did.  Gene rounded up some help and headed out to the pasture to try and coax her into the corral area so he could deliver the calf.  Instead of singling her out by herself and running the risk of her bolting or charging,  he rounded up a bunch of the cows and got them all into the corral area.  After some sorting, they had her in a small enclosed area, and then quickly closed some gates, confining her in a chute where he could work with her.  She was not happy and did her best to not cooperate.  He carefully attached some string around the calf’s feet and after hooking it to a come-along  were able to racketed the calf out alive! This is sweet success for a farmer.

Gene put some fresh hay in the pen for the mama to eat and as clean, dry bedding for the calf. The mama immediately began licking the calf and nudging it to nurse.  I had to wait awhile to go take pictures as the guys said there needed to be quiet in the OB unit so she would settle down and bond with her calf.  Even then I had to stay my distance from the fence.  As I eased up to the fence she lowered head and told me in no uncertain terms to “stay away” and you don’t question her vocal advice!  I didn’t trust just a fence between us, so I quickly snapped a few pictures and left.

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It is amazing to me that a wet calf born on a frigid, cold, winter day in the middle of a snow storm can survive!  This evening both mom and babe are doing well and for now, all is peace and quiet on the ranch!

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1 Comment »

  1. Windows Live Hotmail Team Said:

    Good story and pix, Pat and thanks for sharing. Since I didn’t grow up on a farm I have really enjoyed your stories and learning more about farming in detail. The first picture of the snow looks exactly as it did here yesterday and we got six inches. This morning it is a couple degrees below zero so I don’t think the snow is going to go away today. Make a good day and stay warm!

    Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 02:26:38 +0000 To: dlsburk@hotmail.com

    Like


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