Thursday, November 16, 2017

Another Cow Story

  "Anticipation! Anticipation! Anticipation!"  is a word my uncle likes to proclaim, not just once but three times for a lingering effect. When you are a worry wart, anticipation comes naturally as you imagine worse case scenarios and quickly and steadfastly problem solve the problems that hardly occur.

We had a situation this summer that we did not anticipate nor could of; it was just that crazy.

While vacationing with our family and friends in the beautiful north, I was asked how the farm life was holding up. I was eager to share that we had no escaped animals this year, we had everything under control and were enjoying the routine of farm life we had fallen into. We knew what animals and how many animals to buy in the spring and it had become quite manageable.

Fast forward to later in the afternoon and my friend comes running down to the beach. "Kerri, got to call home right away. Your cow is having a baby!"
"Whatttt??"  You see, we have a terrific guy that buys our cows every spring at an auction. He tells us about the cows and we welcome the cows into the field when he delivers them. These are young cows he buys at the auction. Nice and tender.

When we go away to travel or on vacation, a young, responsible guy moves into our home to take care of our animals and house.
We had left for vacation at the beginning of summer, telling him that everything was in good order; in fact easier then the last time when he moved in and had puppies to care for.
Now, on the fourth day of taking care of the animals, our guy noticed a cow laying by the fence looking very uncomfortable. Imagine his surprise when he saw the cow trying to deliver a calf! This is not what we had written down on the instruction sheet!
 He called our phones up north but when he couldn't reach us he called our friends who were vacationing with us. They quickly passed on the news.

So after my friend told me to call home right away, I ran up to our cottage and blurted out the news to Adam.

Adam took this news calmly, always steadfast and unpanicked  Meanwhile I paced as Adam phoned this young man.

I couldn't believe it. I had always wanted a baby calf to be born on our farm but I had to work my way to telling this to Adam and decided that after a normal farming year,(which we had never yet experienced!) it would be a good time.

Our farmer friend was up north with us and told Adam to ask our guy if there was indeed a calf coming out, and to make sure that just part of the cow's female cycle... (who knew?) Adam didn't look too comfortable having this part of the conversation, but it was less intimidating having it over the phone than in person.
Yes, there was no doubt about it. A calf head was sticking out and it looked stuck.
We called a vet who made his way to our home - after hours of course. After a traumatic birth, the calf was born dead and had to be buried.
But the worse part was our mother cow. She was unable to get up and was really struggling probably due to a pinched nerve. The guy who stays at our home and is so responsible, set up a tent shelter for her and placed food and water in front of her.
The next day we called some guys and they took our tractor, made a sling and tried to get the mom cow to stand. Unfortunately it didn't work.
For the guy living at our house it became a busy week trying to feed and nourish the mom cow. My dad spend many hours too, trying to revive this cow and take care of it. By the end of the week, the mom cow was not doing well and had to be put down. What a sad ending.

There was no way to anticipate a week like that; calling people, getting advice, and trying to help take care of things at home from afar. Thankfully there were many people who were willing to help out.
So it may be a long time yet before we purposely buy a pregnant cow!

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