Thursday, March 16, 2017

Big Boy

Just as we were sitting down for lunch, Nicholas bounded through the door 
completely out of breath and excited:
"I see hooves coming out of cow 65!"
Since it's calving season here at the ranch, we are on guard and
 prepared for a baby calf at anytime and we have about twelve heifers due.
We all jumped into action, grabbed the delivery bag, and jumped on the wheeler's 
to the feed lot where sure enough cow 65 was hard at 
work birthing on the dirt ground.

We sat on the feeding bunks behind the fence and quietly watched mama push and labor.  
After about 30 minutes cow 65 was not progressing as we had hoped,
 and Mr. Nielson was feeling worried.
Our family stood in a circle and said prayer asking 
God to help the cow deliver her baby safety.
After the prayer, Mr. Nielson shot out instructions to
each of us, and we got down and dirty.  
Literally.
I got the calf-puller, towels and some lube prepared
to help Mr. Nielson pull the calf out.
We labored right along with cow 65 as Mr. Nielson frantically pulled and pulled 
on his little hooves.
I could hear Jane in the background ordering Nicholas to 
"put his head down and take some deep breaths".
Nicholas wasn't too keen on this whole birthing thing.
Finally bull calf plopped out on the ground, and as it turns out, this baby bull calf isn't so little. 
In fact, he is the biggest calf I have ever seen. 
After some time and observation, we noticed he was struggling to
 nurse and connect with mama.
We gave mama and calf a few hours to recuperate and then 
ultimately decided to take cow #65 to the squeeze-shoot 
where we milked mama and bottle-fed baby boy calf.
It worked wonderfully!
It was amazing to see the Little Nies in action helping and assisting this process.
The miracle of life is absolutely incredible and I love that
my little family together got to experience this.
As the sun sunk behind the mesa, we named this calf "Big Boy"
and left him with new mama cow #65
in a cozy corner where she was fiercely licking him.
We all walked back to the ranch house with hungry bellies and manure stained jeans.