Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Calving takes my sanity

Oh fuck. What a yesterday. We put Iris down first thing in the morning. Her buddy, Agro, looked stricken. Can’t tell me horses don’t have feelings. He’s moped around ever since, even coming and leaning on me, which he never does. Then we stacked two hundred squares bales in the back barn, which consisted of climbing over the old bucket, the mower condition and the roller, and staking around the disk. I tried to dig a hole for the horse, but didn’t have the coordination so we called my cousin to stop by after work.

Then we went to lunch.

We got back to the farm about 3:30, got the horse buried by maybe four. Went down to check the cows and found 82N calving in the thornapples. We got her up and made a run to TCS for calf drugs. No progress when we got back so we got shit around to move the whole herd across the road. We got it going our way but three vehicles passed my Gramma and my sometimes roommate sitting in their cars in the road so we stopped the herd, the herd split, but Dana and I kept the cow going, and got her across. The bulls broke out after we got the cow settled, so we rearranged panels and locked the bulls out. At dark we got the major fires put out and decided to let the cow settle (which we’d been trying to do for about four hours). I went back to the farm about 10:30 and still no progress. I checked the cow and found a tail. No front feet, no back feet, just a tail. Several phone calls and an hour and a half later, the same vet who euthanatized the horse in the morning lay in the mud pulling a calf.

By 12:30 a.m., the calf came, already several days dead. Black heifer calf, of course. Luckily, there wasn’t a twin and the cow came out of it all right. This morning she and my close-up heifer, 30S, went out to graze and seem to be taking it easy.

All in all, it could have gone a lot worse. Iris had a good, easy death. The cow is okay. And my hips are a little sore from moving and running sprints. Hopefully the cows can keep themselves in line until we find Deja an apartment today. That’s not a lot to ask, is it? After all, their due date isn’t until the 25th.