About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 49 years.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

MORE CALF ADVENTURES

There are many adventures with calves that I don't blog about simply because I don't always have time and then forget about it.  This time I thought I would share even though I don't have pictures.

What the heck, I'll just put an old calf picture for the blog for now.... This calf is big now and is with the heifers outside now.



Adventure #1
October has been galloping along and is almost at the half way mark... Working with calves sure has contributed to making time slip by fast. I don't know if that's good or bad.

I can't remember the day last week but I was finishing my work in the morning and my husband had already left the barn  to go to breakfast. I knew that a cow was getting closer to her calving date and I went to check to see how she was doing. I needed to have a pen ready for the calf.

She was laying down and upon getting closer I saw that the calf's head was out and so was his two front feet. I would normally just let nature do its thing but the mother was pushing and her tongue was sticking out about a foot and she was moaning but the calf wasn't coming out. I waited some more  and since I was alone I decided to try to help the mother deliver her first baby myself. I could always call for help. A new born calf weigh around 90 pounds on average. It would be difficult for me to lift dead weight of slippery calf since I only weigh 110 pounds myself.

I grabbed some dry hay and put around the two front feet  for traction because they are very slippery and started pulling  but it wasn't coming out  so I began to lift up on the calf and letting it down and I repeated the procedure until the calf was free inching her way out.. It was breathing so I pulled it out of the cow's way  to make room for her to get up. She was so tired that it took her about 3 minutes to get up. Once up, she cleaned her calf.

The calf was named Carolyn in honour of a blogger friend named Carolyn since I was thinking about her at the time. If I was thinking about you instead, I might have named the calf after you, hahaha...

Adventure #2
This is another day.
I was finishing off the late afternoon chores when my son came in the section of the barn I work in. I told him that his father had brought all the pregnant cows in from the pasture as it was getting close to freezing now and the cow in the pen may or may not have calved but he didn't see any calf in the field.

My son check the cow but couldn't feel any calf inside so he decided to milk her to see if her milk had come.
She had milk so we decided to go check the far pasture for her calf near the wooded area.

When we came to the culvert over the swamp, we saw little hoof prints and big dog foot prints in the mud and our hearts sank. We prepared ourselves for what we would find. We continued to walk as fast as we could. The fields go back a mile long from the farm to the river and is pretty wide. The pastures are divided with electric fences that can deliver quite a jolt.

After a while we spotted the baby calf sleeping in well hidden  corner of the field against the fence by the wood. As soon as she saw us she galloped at full speed diagonally across the field and within a minute she was out of sight behind a knoll and finally we spotted her by the brook resting. As soon as she saw us again she took off at full speed again. She slipped between the post where the connection are hooked to a current and avoided being shocked. Smart little ass...

I had bursitis that day from all the weeding so I had to slow down a bit and my son told me to keep walking slowly toward a tree in the distance and he would go get the tractor at the farm so he could get her tired out. It was our only chance.
Darkness was coming fast and there was no time to waste. I look back to see if the tractor was coming at a distance, when I turned back to where I last saw her, she was nowhere to be seen.

I kept walking toward the tree and then I saw a sliver of white in the tall grass. She had laid down. I kept my eyes glued on the spot even though I could no longer see the white.

Finally the tractor arrived and up she went at full gallop again. This time she was going in the right direction toward the farm but again she made a diagonal to the field where we first found her. She was getting tired but wouldn't give up.

My son left the tractor and proceeded to chase her on foot. We were afraid that if she got under the wire fence and went in the wood we would loose her. This time she was going in the right direction.
My husband arrived to help after milking and took the tractor back to the farm and reconnected the electric fence that my son had to take down to get through. I kept walking toward the barn. It was almost dark by now and the rain started.

When she saw the small heifers outside by the silos, she went and hid between them but we could see her little short legs. At this point I have one foot on the cement platform by the barn and one foot stuck almost to the top of my boot in mud, going nowhere. My son is busy with roping the calf and can't come to free me.

My son armed with a halter swings it around and lassoed her hind foot and down she came and he quickly wrapped the rope around her two hind feet  rodeo style and stopped her long enough to put the halter around her neck.
 Yippee he said, I roped my first calf....lol

My husband came and weeded me out of the mud, hahaha. The calf  was put in a warm bed of hay for the night and she refused to drink the milk. Her number and name is written on her stall . My son was going to call her John Deer  as we had to use the John Deer tractor to chase her and she ran like a deer but since she was a girl, Jane was more fitting than John. So we called Jane Deer.

I was pretty tired when I hit the sack that night and was not such in a hurry to get out of bed in the morning and just realized that in almost 4  years from now, I'll be 70. Will I still be chasing calves then?

Thanks for reading my adventures with the calves these past two weeks. I'll try to have pictures of the two calves in question soon.

I've been planting more daylilies in the very wet vegetable garden as it's getting very late for planting and I don't want to lose them. We had our first frost this morning.
Have a great Sunday everyone.  JB


37 comments:

  1. I feel your frustration with that little heifer, believe me! We had one do the same thing on a Sunday morning...we thought he had disappeared into the barley field, and pretty much assumed we'd never find him! But...we found him a little later, laying all tired out along the fence line under a Sycamore tree at the far end of the field. The little stinker! I hope she settles down a bit before you have to milk her in 2 years! :)

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    1. It's funny, the calves seems to settle down once they are put in a small pen. They still have enough room to jump and kick their heels but they are more calm. JB

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  2. I don't know how you do all this. that calf was a stinker. i wonder if she will continue to be a runner. You had to be bone tired. Take care of yourself.

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    1. She has settled down in her small pen. JB

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  3. I can not believe how much energy and spunk u have and u r just a tiny gal! I think you run laps around me. Will things settle once the snow flies? Enjoy your evening julia!

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    1. Jody, things will settle down in yard work once the snow flies but not my barn work, although I won't have to chase a calf in the open fields I will still be looking after the calves.

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  4. Tiny but mighty you are Julia. I so enjoy reading about your farm adventures. My husband and both of my two sons began working on dairy farms at the age of twelve. I can certainly appreciate all the hard work and dedication that it takes to be a farmer. The cold weather has found us here in Maine and the words "snow showers" were heard from the weatherman this evening! Blessings, Julie.

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    1. Julie, I just started caring for the calves at our farm when the the barn roof collapsed 2009. Before that I worked at painting and cleaning in the milk house and milking parlor. I also did a bit of office work for the farm. I used to be so sore but my strength increased little by little. JB

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  5. I always enjoy reading about your farm adventures!! You work so hard, Julia, taking care of the little calves. They are lucky to have you!

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    1. I'm glad that you like my adventures Roe.

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  6. Ahhhh...so that's your secret for staying young and healthy! Jogging, running, roping, and then a mud bath for the pores!

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    1. Oh Yaya, you always make me laugh. I sure can use it this morning. I'm not having a great day so far. Hugs. JB

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  7. Julia ~
    You are an amazing woman!!! Never a dull moment in your life.
    Since it's Sunday, I hope you at least get one day of rest.
    Hugs :)
    Lauren

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    1. Lauren a day of rest sounds nice but I haven't had a Sunday off since I went to the Maritimes Fibre Art Retreat in early March in Nova Scotia. JB

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  8. Wow! I think you would write such an interesting book! I love your posts! You are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I wish I had the time to write a book Ann but if I stopped working at the farm to write a book, I wouldn't have any stories to write, hahaha. JB

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  9. It sounds like you have had a busy several weeks. Well actually you sound like you are busy all of the time.

    Too bad that someone didn't take a picture of you being stuck!

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    1. That would have been a sad looking picture. I has S*** splashed all over me, even on my forehead as I had to round up a couple of cows just before going on a rescue mission.

      But when I was in the field I wish I had my camera with me. I'll go some day to take some pictures. JB

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  10. 110 pounds?? Wow Julia you're a wee one yourself! What a farm girl though, love these cow stories. My question regarding adventure #2, why didn't you just turn the mama cow out to retrieve her calf, could have saved you the rodeo of roping and chasing lil' Jane. Oh well, makes for an exciting adventure as well as story!

    I bet the other mama was glad to have you as a mid-wife, she was probably cursing the Bull for doing that to her! HA!!

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    1. Siami, it was getting close to dark and there are coyotes and dogs and foxes running around and we wanted to first find out if there was a live calf out there. Once we spotted it there was no turning back.
      JB

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  11. I think the calves are keeping you young! And I bet you sleep well at night!

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    1. Oh Sara I'm getting old and I have my aches and pains but I do what I have to do, not because I love it but because I have to. I have no trouble falling asleep, I have trouble staying asleep all night.

      I get a sore neck and sore shoulders and it wakes me up and the old run to the bathroom routine robs me of sleep too. No such thing as a beauty sleep for me,. unfortunately.
      JB

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  12. My grandparents had a small farm and I remember them telling stories like these. I never grow tired of them and was always asking them to tell a new one.
    You are adventurous and hearty, even all 110 lbs of you....doing something I could not. My hat's off to you!!!

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    1. Donna, I couldn't have done it either just after going through what you just went through. I'm healed and I take full advantage of what's left of me. I don't need a gym while I work out on the farm, that's for sure. JB

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  13. The calf had blue eyes?

    Aw, Julia…. I can't tell you what fun it is having a little calf named after me! you remember my telling you about my calf when I was a kid named Rocky? Daddy butchered him and I wouldn't eat him… oh, bother… and doom and gloom… very traumatic… now I got a little calf… jeeeeeez - I do hope you get a picture of her!

    oh, my the tale of Jane Deer… HAHaaaaa… what a great post, Julia… life on the farm… oh, lord … a smart ass calf…

    So glad I finally got to a library with wifi and my big screen laptop!

    Thank you for this…. ;)

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  14. I'm glad that you enjoyed this post Carolyn. I just could fill a book with my barn adventures. Some nice ones and some very sad ones. It's all in a farmer's day. I mostly write about the more interesting one.

    I'm glad that you got to the library too.
    JB

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  15. Julia,
    I always love hearing of your adventures with the calves! They are just so darn cute and remind me so much of my childhood. Waiting for more cute calf pictures!

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    1. I'm sure that I'll have more to write about Tammy.
      JB

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  16. Julia, What a tail you told .Lol. You are amazing.YOu could be a midwife.Lol. When I read your stories I can just see you and the cows. Thanks for taking me on a calf adventure today. What a lucky gal to have a cow named after you, HUgs Cheri

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  17. Well this sounds so familiar I have been in your story many times. B

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  18. Love reading your farm life adventures.
    How is that sweet grandson doing?

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  19. I find it so sweet that you also join for Leontien....love Ria...xxx...

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  20. Hi Julia,
    How I love to read about life on your farm! You certainly have had some wild adventures...all that hard work is keeping you young and healthy I'm sure...better than any gym!
    I came very close to naming my Annie Julia. My husband and I both had grandmothers named Julia...it is a beautiful name...fits you nicely. Thank you for all the lovely comments you leave when you visit me...they give me a big boost :)
    Have a great weekend,
    Robyn

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  21. Julia I am completely worn out after reading about your adventures with your calves. lol I may not get out of this chair the rest of the evening.
    Wow you never cease to amaze me. I can't imagine delivering a calf and then chasing one around a pasture. I was so afraid they both were not going to have happy endings but thank goodness they did.
    I too keep thinking that in May I will be 65 and will I be able to keep up with this job out here on the ranch. I guess we both do what we gotta do but I wish for both of us we could slow down and more and enjoy our older age.
    Loved coming by tonight and checking on you. I think of you often.
    Love ya
    Maggie

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  22. farmers are the bravest of unsung heros, friend:)
    i love your stories!
    -Jennifer

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  23. Wow Julia, your days make mine seem so mundane. I love reading about your adventures & even without pictures you create a great visual as I read. Yes you should write these stories down for all to share...one day. But for now you're doing just that in the condensed version for us that stop by to read your blog & delight us each time with a story. I'm still chuckling about my favourite...the Marilyn Monroe birthday song with your version of coming out of the cake. LOL. You are a special person Julia, thank you for sharing your adventures of one day in the life & time of Julia. Your days are filled with caring & love of people & animals.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Cynthia M-R

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  24. Adventures with calves!

    What a cool line!

    Loved this writing...and visiting your life. It sounds like rewarding fun!

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