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My friend, Tonya, over at Clover Hill Farm, Has been waiting for her sweet girl Gertie to calve. Well, Gertie was showing no signs of delivery and she was already past her due date by several days. Gertie has gone over before so no worries, she would calve as soon as she was ready. Tonya had been keeping a close eye on her so she could move her to the pasture behind the barn as soon as she looked “close”.
Well, Saturday morning Tonya went out for a bit and when she came home Gertie was “missing”. Tonya hopped on her John Deere Gator to go find her and find her she did…….. along with a little heifer calf, in the creek! Tonya got her hubby, David, and her dad to help her get them out of the creek. David held the calf and rode on the back of Tonya’s dad’s Polaris Ranger. Gertie, being a good cow mommy, followed close behind as they rode up to the pasture behind the barn.
Tonya sent me a text with the picture of Gertie and her calf in the creek. A while later she called me to see if we wanted to come over. We loaded everyone up in the van and very excitedly headed her way. What a sweet baby! The calf had not yet nursed despite trying to find the teats. Gertie’s udder hangs pretty low so the calf needed some assistance. Tonya milked a bit of colostrum into a bottle to be sure the calf got some.
It is very important for calves (and all baby mammals) to get colostrum as soon as possible. The colostrum has the antibodies the calf needs to be able to fight of any illness that could make it sick. This little calf eagerly sucked down the colostrum from the bottle. After she had finished it Tonya and I worked with her to help her find the teat. She’s a smart little girl and took to it in no time. She nursed for a bit and then Tonya gave her a bit more from the bottle. With a full belly she happily laid down for a nice rest. We also fed Gertie and gave her some molasses water. She is such a sweet cow and has a great disposition.
What a great way to spend our Saturday afternoon as a family. We are looking forward to going over to visit the calf and Gertie again. We are going to get to practice our hand milking skills. I haven’t hand milked since I was a teenager and only have experience milking goats this way. I’m excited to have the opportunity to refresh my skills. It will be great for the farm kids to learn this skill as well.
Needless to say we were all so excited to get to be part and help with the calf. We have been anxiously awaiting her arrival for a while now. I love being able to involve the farm kids in the farm life whether it be at home or at other farms. They get to experience the reality behind what goes into food production. They also learn so many other priceless life lessons along the way. And that is what this is all about, teaching our children the right and necessary things in life.
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