I had finished work just in time to shower and get to church which is just a few minutes away but we were late anyway. Got home and had soup for lunch and my husband and I made plans to go to out to a church supper on the north side of the city and we would leave at 3:00p.m. for the 3:30p.m. sitting and we would be home on time or a little late for the late afternoon chores.... In the mean time my husband went back to the farm to bring some round bales of hay to feed the dry cows in the back. There was also a church women's meeting I should have attended but knew that I just wouldn't be able to stay long enough to bother.
My son was also brining a bunch of small kid from friends who wanted to see what farm life is all about. They wanted to see the calves and the cows and milk tanks and tractors and kittens etc.
A few minutes later I got a call on my cell that we will have to cancel our plan for the church dinner because my husband found another small calf that was still wet in the field. When I get a call I have to drop everything and go. I couldn't see where the calf was because the cows were obstructing the view. I'm not a brave cow girl because I'm still new at this, but as long as I'm armed with my big black broom I feel pretty secure. lol. These Holstein cows are huge and I'm puny...
My husband was coming on the tractor with the huge bale of hay and I opened the gate so he could go in to feed those crazy cows. They do go crazy when it feeding time. I'm waving my broom in the air and making threatening gestures with it and giving command to get out of the way of the tractor but the field was so muddy where they congregated that their feet were getting sucked up in the mud and they were slow to get out of the way of the tractor. I was sure that he would run some over as his view was somewhat obstructed by the huge bale in the front.
When the cows saw the bale of hay they all ran to it and now I could see a small calf with two cows near it. The bigger white one pushing the other one away and was licking the baby. As I got near, I saw that the big cow was not the mother as her utter was all shriveled up and sagging so with my broom I chased her away but she was determined to turn around and she kept running toward me and I was keeping my ground and waving my weapon and I chased her away for a total of 6 times. She was an old cow with a strong motherly instinct and was claiming that calf for her own.
It was too far to carry the calf and he couldn't walk yet and it was too muddy because of all the rain we had to bring the wheelbarrow so my husband had to go back and change the tines and put the bucket on the big tractor. In the mean time I'm still chasing that old mother in law of a cow and that poor mother was such a push over.
I was supposed to get in the bucket with the baby calf but he hadn't put hay in the bucket. Men... I send him back get some hay from the bale he brought to the cows and he made a bed for the shivering wet little calf. The ride to the farm went well and I had to keep the calf from trying to get up. He drove the tractor inside the shelter and carried the calf in the barn.
See how much mud I was talking about... that is a huge tractor
This is the bucket after the hay was removed.
The kids had fun feeding the calves bedding. lol...
In the mean time when I return to the barn after the rescue, my jaw dropped. There was bedding hay all over the calf barn floor, the mangers for the 20 some big calf were filled with bedding instead of eating hay and the water and feed pails for the small calves were also full of bedding. It took me an extra half hour to remove the bedding from the mangers and pails and sweep the floor clean. It's just an old barn but I sweep twice a day to keep the hay off the floor.
I lost my fear of the mother as she was such a push over and I even went in the pen with her to feed her calf. But I wouldn't turn my back on that big old white cow. So now I have three new baby to bottle feed and I just weaned a heifer calf off the bottle the day before at first try. I couldn't believe how quickly she took to the pail.
And I was planning to take it easy on Sunday for a change. People who ask me to bake this or that for the church don't even realize how hectic life can get on a farm at any given time.
I'm sorry for being so long tonight as I struggle to tell my Sunday story but the rest of my brain is taking it easy.. Thanks for your loyalty. Have a great week. JB