What a couple of days this has been. I was going to post about it last night but had to go to bed instead.
Yesterday afternoon I was stuck at home because we were having a security system installed because of several burglaries in plain daylight just up the street from us. For two days the worker was drilling holes and placing motion detectors at all the key points in the house. I use this time to work around the house and do laundry etc. We had him over for lunch as he's an old school friend of my husband.
The Alarm people were scheduled to come to give us a dry run on the system at 2:30 pm yesterday but they called and cancelled because of an emergency at work. Apparently someone was drilling to install a wire on another job and drilled through a main water pipe.
When my husband's friend left, I had everything done and thought of getting an early start on my barn chores so that I would have time to be on Blogger and work on my quilt. I had a 50 minutes head-start... but it didn't worked out that way.
When I arrived at the barn the hired hand had moved the big calves out and cleaned and put fresh bedding in the large pen and I help him round up all those stubborn big calves back into the big pen. I asked him to move two calves from the small pens and to remove the soil bedding so that I could scrub and sanitize them for new calves we were expecting.
A few minutes later I got a call from my son Vaughan telling me that a truck driver who was bringing gravel to the farm had seen a small calf in the field. My husband and I took a wheelbarrow to the field to get this wet shivering little calf in the barn. He pulled the wheelbarrow through the muddy pasture and I kept the calf from jumping down. I put lots of fresh bedding in the big calving pen while my husband found the mother and brought her in so that she would lick her cold calf but instead she missed stepping and crushing her tiny little leg by half an inch. I quickly pulled her out of the way but kept an eye on her. The mother gave her a couple of licks and laid down. My husband went back to his gravel job.
I gave her hay, warm water and some grain and shortly after I saw a big water sack with a little hoof inside. The hoof went back in and I called my son and he came over. He broke the water sack and he thought that he could feel another set of hooves inside. He pulled it out and it came out very easy and I took care of the slimy little calf as it wasn't breathing. It's amazing how much mucus there is in their mouth and nostrils. They are very difficult to hold upside down to drain the fluid out of their lungs because of the slippery mucus. I used my hand and some paper towels to help get the mucus out of the mouth and nostrils.
My son pulled out the other one and they were all females. He looked after the mother and treated her while I took care of the third baby. This is our first set of triplets ever on this farm. All three calves were in the pen with her and again she just missed by a hair of crushing all three of them this time. So we quickly removed them out of the calving pen as it was obvious that she wasn't interested in licking them clean and we put them in an empty small calf pen that wasn't too soiled, with fresh bedding and warm blankets. They were all shivering as they were soaked to the bones and all slimy. They were so light that I could carry one of them in my arms to the pen. I had her in a blanket to carry her. The mother was brought to the milk parlor and then I fed the triplets.
I had been caring for the twins that was born the day before but they were big for twins. Their mother couldn't get up as her legs got paralyzed and she had been down since last Thursday.
My husband and I got home from the barn at 8:00pm for supper and went back to the barn at 9:00 pm to euthanize the poor cow as we did all we possibly could for her and so did the vet.
I went to check on the other mother cow, the one with the triplets. Again we thought that she might have another calf as another big water sack came out. My husband broke the water sack but there was nothing detected inside.
Life and death is something that we have to deal with on the farm. It's never pleasant. I said a prayer of thanks for all the gifts that she gave us and the joy that she brought us and prayed to God to deliver her from her pain and suffering. Animals show feelings and I have witnessed this so many time while I've been working on the farm. She went so quick and peacefully but it still breaks my heart. The other mother cow showed some distress as she was in the pen next to the sick cow. She grown a mourning grown and she looked at me and then at the cow who had breathed her last and she looked back at me and again at her friend and it was evident that she was mourning her passing.
Whenever a cow has to be put down on the farm, which is not very often, thanks goodness, other cows will react with a sadness. They have feelings.
Now here I am with 5 new babies to care for and only one cow to provide first milk with colestrum and tonight she was weak with milk fever so she couldn't be milked. I had to use ordinary cow milk to feed them. I scrubbed pens and pails and gates and moved two of the triplets in another pen because it's nearly impossible to feed them when they are all together. They are in constant motion. I have a spare pen for the other calf that will be born any time now (No more twins I hope). I got home at 8:00 PM for supper again this evening. I'm all sore and tired.
I'll try to catch up on your blogs as soon as I can. No quilting for me again tonight. I'm tired but not tired enough to forget to pray for all my sick blogger friends and their families and for those who have asked for prayers for healing.
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. JB