Monday, April 30, 2007

What a Morning

I am not really all that big on surprises. One every so often, but not on a regular basis.

Well, one of my cows, Chicago, decided to surprise the heck out of me this morning. I woke up just before five, my alarm clock hadn't even gone off, with this feeling that something was really really wrong over at the cow barn. So I got up a bit earlier than usually, and headed out to check on things. Rumpleteaser, my 8 year old Jersey cross breed, is due today, so I figured the problem was probably her. Seeing as she has nearly killed herself the last three years in a row

Nope. I got just over the land bridge that connects the two farms, and spotted little Chicago, my only Zenith daughter other than Mandy, laying upside down in a tractor rut. This generally means death for a cow. And she probably would have been if I had gone out at my normal time, or skipped doing morning chores and let my folks do them (which probably wouldn't have been popular as I wont be doing chores on Tuesday).

Adrenalin is a wonderful thing folks. I was the only one there, and while she isn't a big animal, moving that much basically dead weight is not a pleasant experience. I did manage to get her rolled out of the hole and up onto her feet, letting her use me as something of a leaning post until she was a bit steadier. (My shoulders and knees do not thank me for that activity). Then looked around to try and figure out what in the heck had caused her to get in so much trouble. She's not the brightest animal, but we haven't had much trouble with her recently. Some who read my mom's blog may recall she is the same heifer who went through the issues last summer with a steer we had causing some issues. If you want to read about that, just click here.

And about a half a foot from the bank, I spotted her dirty, slimy, and very cold Jersey cross baby. He is not exactly a small calf. I pushed her over towards him and she wanted nothing to do with mothering him what so ever. Then again, if he was mine and he smelled THAT bad, I probably would say no way too. So I got him up on his feet. At that point, he decided Liz is not a nice person. Now I love my cows, so where he got that idea from I'll never know. And then proceeded to try and jump over the side of the bridge down into the ravine. I managed to catch him, but let me tell you, he is not a light weight. (He is sired by the same bull as Mandy's first calf. We breed a lot of our young stock to Jerseys, in hopes that the calves will be small enough they can calve by themselves. Mandy's calf came backwards, and took my mom, dad and I believe my sister to pull him. His shoulders were over my hips, and he weighed around 125 lbs when we sent him to the sale a week or so later.)

I scooped him up and carried him into the milk house. I will say that was easier said than done. All the other animals that were out in the barn yard decided they wanted to 'help' and came over to sniff and get in between me and where I was going. Also, trying to open a door with one finger is not a simply task. Anyways, little baby boy got a nice bath in warm water to try and get the worst of the dirt and mud off of him, and bring his temperature back up to a normal level. Then I went to try and figure out where in the heck I was going to put him. Finally ended up moving a bunch of straw out of one stall and put him in there (sorry Mom). Then I went back out to the milk house, finally remembered to start Sugar's milk heating, and towel dried him a bit.

Following that, it was another carry the calf session, this time moving him into the main barn. He is also the proud wearer of Sugar's old calf coat, as it was the only one not on the clothes line at the house.

After I finally got him all cared for, I still had to feed Sugar, and Heath, my little yearling Jersey bull, check on his momma again, and head back to the house...soaking wet, with it raining, and covered in mud, blood, and various other bodily fluids associated with birth. Yeah for me. It was about 6:25 or so when I finally managed to get done with my 'chores' for the morning. After starting at 5:00. They normally don't take me more than 20 or 30 minutes if I hurry. And I never even managed to get the older calves their grain. Whoops. Just realized that. What a hectic morning.


Hurricane Teen said...

Wow. A day in the life of a dairy farmer...ha ha. I don't envy you right now :-D

Paintsmh said...

Yeah, it wasn't the best day, or for that matter, week, on record. Oh well. So far I have survived.