Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Calvin' fools or fools calvin'.

Stayed up half the night saving a calf last night. That’ll get you up in the morning. “Hey, did that calf suck?” Boom, I’m outa that bed, Joe or no Joe. Tarot teaches that the Mother and the Father must learn to work together. At least from my perspective, masculine and feminine energies combine forces during calving season, especially when saving a life since one has to nurture and fight all at once.

There’s the daily dose of New Age.

Little Booger got born about 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon. (It’s my first calf of the season, forgive me for going on a bit.) Dad and I found him about 3 and left him and the cow to pair up until about 5 since it looked like he was up trying to nurse. We walked out and gave him his shots. The cow seemed into the calf and everything, so we left them be. I went back about 8 and the cow had left the calf in the fence row. We went to try and drive the cow back to the calf but she wouldn’t go and the calf hunkered down outside the fence and we couldn’t find him. Meanwhile, we got the cows in, but they proved a mite less than willing to go from a dark lot into a darker barn. So we found the calf, tubed it about midnight, and called it a night, hoping the cow would find her way back to the calf.

Unfortunately, she didn’t. So we drove the herd up with the tractor, trapped the cow, and reunited cow and calf.

As of ten o’clock, it looked like the calf had sucked, but the cow’s udder is so large and stiff that it’s almost impossible to tell. For a first calve Simmental heifer, she’s got a udder like a four year old Holstein. At least her teats aren’t blowed out and the calf can get its mouth on. He’s a ninety pound bull calf, black, with a white marking on his forehead and down his muzzle and little white chin hairs that gives him a milk mustache. All calves are cute, but he’s just great. He’s muscular and thick and a beautiful first live calf out of my big red bull. I’m real creative with bull names lately: Big Red Bull and Little Red Bull.

The rest of the herd doesn’t seem in any hurry to calve. Hopefully Big Red bred them all. So far almost everyone is making udders and starting to breakdown in back (trust me, if you don’t know what this means, you don’t want me to explain it). The heat broke so the cattle are a lot more comfortable. Other than the rain yesterday that the baby got born in, the cows seem real comfortable. And little Booger seemed the only one who minded the rain. Other than the dumbass humans chasing black cattle in the dark to try and trap a negligent momma cow.