Sunday, July 01, 2007

Another New Baby

Ahh, the last two days have been horrible.

Mandolin Rain has been, as we say, 'hanging fire', and not calving, but really acting like she wanted to. So as a result I have had a grand total of about 7 hours of sleep in the last two days, and less than two of those hours were last night. See, around 2 yesterday afternoon, she started really acting like she was ready. Up and down constantly. She was restless, straining hard, and dropping thick heavy strands of mucous. So I went back and forth between the barn all day checking on her. I panic when it comes to this cow. She is my darling baby. I pamper and spoil her constantly. She is easily the biggest cow we have, but she is something of a weanie. Not that I mind most of the year, but when calving time comes, it is not good. Every time she calves she has big problems.

No different this year. She kept straining, dropping mucus, obviously feeling miserable, and not doing anything. Her ears were a bit cold come milking time last night, so Dad and I were going to give her a bottle of Cal-Nate, a calcium supplement to ward off the milk fever she was slightly suffering from. Or at least we were until we discovered there was only one bottle left, and the other five bottles of drench were Dextrose, which wont do diddly for milk fever. So we decided to hold off in case she got worse.

I stayed up til just shy of midnight, and since she hadn't made much progress, and I couldn't yet feel a calf, I decided to try and sleep for a little bit. I managed to zonk out until just shy of 2. When I woke up with this feeling of 'get to the barn quick girl'. Sure enough, Mandy's water had broken, and when she lay down bigger than my fist white hooves were sticking out of her backside. I checked to make sure everything was lined up good, went back to the house to grab a chair and a cup of coffee and headed back out to the barn. By the time I got back it was obvious the calf was going to be a monster. Within another five minutes or so it was also apparent that Mandy and the calf were really really distressed. The calf had a sickly yellow tint to it, which spells trouble, and poor Mando was having real trouble, pushing harder and harder without getting anything out.

So lucky me got to pull the calf. Fortunately after the difficulty I had with her having the Blitz, this calf's full sister, last year, I had strings and such on hand for just such an emergency. It took more than a half hour of hard pulling to get the baby, but it sure seemed longer. I got to admit, I was so worried for the cow I was somewhat out of it. But aside from the calf's extreme size it wasn't a real bad pull in terms of calf position, just a 'baby too big for hole' problem.

I figured just based on size, and being a day late the baby would be a bull. But really I didn't care. I just wanted momma and baby to both be okay. It wasn't breathing when I finally managed to get it out, so I beat on its chest until it coughed up the gunk that had gotten into its lungs. Then I decided to check and see if it was really a bull. Much to my delighted surprise it was a girl. A big, lovely, inky black girl. I tried to get some pictures of her, but she wouldn't cooperate. And my dear dad kept sticking his hand in front of the camera everytime I lined up a decent shot. Poor Mandy has still got a touch of milk fever. Dad and I gave her that last bottle at four this morning. So now he and mom and Becky are off at Tractor Supply Co. in Amsterdam picking up some more.

What a long long day. I will try again later to get some pics of the new girl, cause she is just a little cutie. I was going to name her Margaritaville for the old Jimmy Buffett song, but somehow it just doesn't seem to fit her. Any ideas?

Oh, and Mom did a real sweet post today. Check it out.

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