Thursday, May 14, 2009

1 for 4

I'm warning you now, it's a sad cow story, so proceed with caution.

Greg and I were on our way back from Nashville yesterday when my dad called to tell us one of the cows was in labor with a hoof sticking out. We had just picked up Nadiya (Scarlet's daughter) from her grandmother's house and she was sacked out in the backseat, so we decided to drive straight to the farm and let Scarlet pick her up there.

When we got there at 3:30, the cow was definitely in labor, but moo-ving around pretty good. (That's my lame attempt at humor so bear with me). She didn't appear to be in distress, but she also didn't look large enough, nor did her utter to be ready to give birth. We waited a bit, then Greg and Bubba (a guy that's helping us on the farm and he has the perfect name for farm-help, don't you think) decided to try to rope the cow.

This was proceeded by a practice session of lasso-ing a cooler in the backyard while Nadiya and I watched. She and I also had the chance to look at the blue-bird house that Greg had set up. Greg had insisted it was a house for blue-birds, which I totally didn't believe. I figured any ole bird would find it's way inside to make a home, but alas, my bird-brained husband was correct, there was indeed a blue-bird living inside along with her 5 eggs!!!! They're gorgeous blue eggs and both Nadiya and I were enthralled with them. She must have stared at them for 20 minutes and every time I'd ask her if she was ready to get down, she would decline. (I'll try to get a photo for you later to see, sorry about this photo-less post.)

By this time, Scarlet and Noah had arrived and we got to watch the boys try unsuccessfully to rope the cow. By 6:15, I left for church and so did Scarlet and the kids. Greg and Bubba headed into town to get some fencing for a corral from TSC.

When I arrived back from church around 8:30, it was dark and they had the cow cornered in the corral. It turns out, it's easier to catch a cow with sweet feed than with a rope. Lesson learned.

Dad was there too, and I became official flash-light holder. They roped her up and brought her down to her side so they could pull the calf. She still appeared to be in good shape at this time. Bubba grabbed the calf by both hooves (only one was sticking out so he had to explore a bit to get the other hoof) and all 3 pulled the calf out.

It was breech and teeny tiny and of course, dead. The other calf Greg had pulled weighed about 80-90lbs and this one was 30lbs at the most. So sad.

Forgetting the calf, it was time to get the momma up, because if you remember my last story, it's important to get them up or they can become paralyzed. I shone the flashlight on her face and her tongue was sticking out. Bad news.

We don't really know what did it, but we'll chalk it up to another bad farm experience. So, now we're 1 for 4. 1 mommy cow alive, 1 dead and 2 dead calves since we started this farm. Our odds have to improve. They can't get worse, I don't think.

The ups and downs of farm life are ever-present right now.

11 comments:

Aimee said...

awww, its a fact of life. very sad for momma cow and baby.

lauren said...

Sorry to hear this. Have you made friends with the local farm animal vet? These type of people are usually wondrefully helpful and totally just willing to talk to you ovre the phone about thigns...

Houston said...

Oh April, I'm sorry, that's not an easy start. I hope you all fair much better with the blue birds.

stephanie howell said...

=( i'm sorry.

Davinie said...

I asked Steve and I don't think you can insure.
I'm really worried about your cows and hope you have been consulting with vets? I don't see this as normal whatsoever. And cows are to valuable to lose any more!

lisa dickinson said...

My dad's a vet and I remember lots of nights like that during the spring calfing season. But when everything goes right, there's nothing better than a sweet new calf :)

Amy Coose said...

You guys are having some bad cow luck right now, aren't you. ): I agree, it will get better, it just has to!

vtpuggirl said...

Wow, those sure are bad odds. Life seems a little rough on the farm. But you really have help called Bubba?! That's awesome!

Kelly said...

That's so sad :o(

Anonymous said...

Can you go to cow school or something???

Lorie

kathleen said...

SO sad!!! That must be so hard to shake!! Hang in there! It's gotta get better, right!?