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 the calving season here at the ranch, we are on guard and
  We are prepared for a baby calf at any time and have about twelve heifers due.
We all jumped into action, grabbed the delivery bag, and jumped on the wheeler's 
to the feedlot 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 a prayer asking 
God help the cow deliver her baby safely.
After the prayer, Mr. Nielson shot out instructions to
each of us, and we got down and dirty.  
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 was more interested in something other than this whole birthing thing.
Finally, the bull calf plopped out on the ground; 
as it turns out, this baby bull calf wasn'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!
Seeing the Little Nies helping and assisting in this process was amazing.
The miracle of life is 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 returned to the ranch house with hungry bellies and manure-stained jeans.

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