Spring brings new life to our farm!

We were spoiled a few weeks back with some unseasonably warm temps.  70's in
March, who woulda thunk it!  The old saying of "in like a lamb, out like a lion"
became a reality.  In one week we had those 70's, then tornados and finally more snow :( 

Back in the 30's this week.  All my dreams of early gardening came to a halt.

One thing that will not be halted though is pregnant mamas.  Our cows are
calving right now, and despite the odd weather, all are doing well.  An extra
bedding of hay out in the back of the pasture keeps those new babies happy and
warm.  We have over 100 head of cattle, so bringing each one to a barn or shed to have her baby isn’t realistic for us.  We keep them checked and bring in any that look to be having trouble. 
After so much soap making lately, I decided I needed to get out of the house today and spent it with my husband and father-in-law out with the cows.  Perfect day to be out there, I saw three born in one hour!  Two were born without any trouble. Here is a couple of pics after the first one was born.

Some of the sac was still on. It’s the mom’s job to get her all cleaned and dried off quickly. This also helps them bond.

Head up now and taking her first good look around.

 The third mama needed a little help.  Here she is after about 2 hours of getting up and down and trying to push. 
 Tail up and twitching.  You can’t really see it, but two hoves are already sticking out.

We ran her into the shed and got her in the shoot.  This holds her still at her neck without any harm to her.  The next few pictures are a bit graphic so please don’t look if you don’t like that kind of thing J

The front feet were out, but she still couldn’t get it’s head out.  My father-in-law tried pulling with his just his hands, but that didn’t work so we had to put on the calf jack.  Slowly but surely she made her way out.  It looks kind of uncomfotable for the calf, but hanging like that is actually a good thing.  It helps to drain all the yuck out of her mouth, esophagus, and lungs.

Brand new baby!

Checking her over and making sure her nose and mouth are clear.  She’s looking like she’ll be just fine.

Now we just hope that she will claim her calf.  If a cow doesn’t have a calf on her own, there is always the risk that she won’t recognize it. 

We came back after dinner to find that she had claimed her and licked her clean and almost dry!

Of course the kids love her and have named her.  “Oreo” is now her name!

Two curious on-lookers that watched the whole thing.  Wonder what they were thinking?

I hope you enjoyed a bit about what our spring is like on our farm.  The next animals we have coming are a first for us.  Our daughter will be getting her first set of sheep for her 4-H project.  Neither my husband nor I have ever had sheep, so this will be a learning experience for us all!

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