Thursday, September 2, 2010

Curley or Houdini ? ! ?

Yesterday, Wednesday, I was really busy and nervous about the newest addition to the farm.  We had a calf born yesterday.  And why should I have been nervous about this? Well, Steve has been at the MN State Fair at the open class swine show (he left on Sunday and got home today, Thursday afternoon.  We knew this calf was going to be born at any time, and I hate being home alone when these things happen; as I don't usually do chores, (I do fill the water tank occassionally) so the cows aren't used to me being around them.  When I got up Wednesday morning the cows were both laying down, and they're not usually doing that, so I was kind of wondering if something was happening.  But should I go out in the field to check?  I didn't want to disturb her if she was starting to have this calf, so I thought the best thing would be to stay away and let nature take it's course.  I had to take Odda  to the groomer around 8 am, and also went into town (14 miles) to get a few things, and by the time I got home around 10 am, I checked the pasture, and (we have 2 cows) one of the cows was licking her new baby clean.  So I walked toward them but still on the outside of the fence.  They're used to seeing me there as I mow that area.  Here's the first pictures of our new little Curley!

Hooch had to check everything out.  He did listen to me when I called him back.  The other cow is also going to have a calf in a couple of weeks, and she was also guarding the new momma and baby!

Every once in awhile I'd check on the calf from our kitchen window with the binoculars and later in the afternoon both cows were standing by the farthest corner of the pasture looking outside of the fence and making a little noise; so I got on the riding lawnmower (no 4 wheeler here) and rode it out there.  I tried lifting on the calf to scoot him under the fence and got a little done, but he wasn't having much to do with my lifting his front end and dragging him, so I decided to get on the lawnmower and see if the noise would encourage him to move  - and by golly, that worked!!!!!!!!  His head was under the fence by then, so when he got up he got inside the fence.  It was a good thing that I'd unplugged the electric fencer before going out there.  So not thinking much of it, I went back to the house and kept watching to check on him every now and then.  Momma cleaned and was eating the afterbirth, so all was going normal.  This was this cows first calf, and it sure is something how nature takes over and they know what to do - all on their own.  No Dr. Spock books to read - No TV shows or Mom's telling them what to do! 
Then - this morning comes, and all okey.  After I'd gotten home from visiting with a neighbor lady that recently had surgery I noticed that baby Curly OR should his name be changed to Houdini - was outside the fence again!  Little escape artist!  I just left him this time - Steve was coming home soon (in a couple of hours) and he could deal with it.  Well, it was about 3 hours before he got home, and baby Curly / Houdini was still laying outside the fence and momma and auntie were both there waiting, and waiting; and once in awhile look toward me when I was outside.  All I did was turn off the electric fencer again to make his re-entry easier - if he decided to do so.  But he waited until Steve got home and helped him.  The cows don't mind Steve being there, so there was no nervous bellering when he was with them.

Picture of him sleeping before I helped him get back inside the fence.  So cute and soft and curley.
Here's wobbly little Curley after he was safely inside the fence.  Momma is happy!  Now tomorrow he'll be so much better on his feet that we'll probably not be able to catch him.  Our pasture has so many little areas where he can lay down and the grass just hides him; but it won't be long and he'll be growing fast and not sleeping as much.  Calves are so much fun to watch - but then aren't most babies fun to watch! 
Oh - momma cat moved her kittens again - can't find them.  She must not have liked when Hooch was yipping and barking - wanting to visit them in the pen where she had them.  Bet she has them in the big barn somewhere that the dogs don't go.  


Cyndi said...

Oh, "Curldini" is so precious, Jo! I just love cows, and calves are so sweet when they are little! It is amazing how animals just instinctively know what to do when they have babies, and most are good mommies!

And talking about "good mommy instincts", hope the kittens are all okay, too!



misslynda said...

I love calves. Grandpa had a dairy farm. We lived with them a year and a half so we got to play with them a bunch. I remember when we would carry them buckets of milk after he had them penned off from their mommas. They were so strong with their heads in the buckets that they about knocked us over. Fun memories.


WOW ! Its amazing isnt it, I remember the days of our sheep and their lambs, they are so cute ! Our cows didnt have calves! We had a mixed farm of cows,sheep,horses,ducks,geese,chickens, dogs and cats. I miss it, still in the country here with only a cat and dog, one day I would like to start a hobbie farm ! Great post and photos!

Darcie said...

Thanks for sharing a little bit of the farm life with this city girl. My kids would have loved to have seen all this.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh he is too cute! Sounds like you are a great calf mid wife..I assume it is a bull calf..with a name like Curley or Houdini.:)