Posted by Scott | Posted in Animal Care, Family Farm, Scott | Posted on Mon, February 11, 2013
Tags: calf, Family Farm, heifer, late nigths, maternity
My, oh my, how time flies. I can hardly believe the holidays are over. It seems like we were just getting together with the family and having an opportunity to spend a little time together. Now we are in the beginning of February and spring feels like it’s right around the corner.
After just having our January thaw and thunderstorm, hopefully the much-needed rain and moisture will help raise the water table after last summer’s drought.
Well… It’s been another great day on the farm! We had back-to-back-to-back calvings last night. I helped deliver twin heifers, which are absolutely adorable. If you have never seen twin heifers born, it’s quite a sight. Twins tend to be a little smaller in size than just a single calf. The first one was very petite with very long legs like a giraffe and the second was very similar but with shorter legs like me.
I no more was able to make up a bottle of their mother’s colostrum (her first milk, which is the most important, wholesome, nutritious source of life sustaining milk you can feed to a newborn) to feed them, when I looked in the maternity pen and we had another little heifer from a new mother that wanted to join the party!
I continued on bottle-feeding the twin heifers while the other mother was successfully laboring. Within a few minutes we had another little heifer that was born to this big ‘ol world.
I’ll tell you, her eyes were are big as the moon. Mom immediately started licking and cleaning her precious baby calf. This is a very important process in the calf-birthing event. The mother’s lick no only helps clean off the body of the calf, but it also helps provide a much-needed form of stimulation to the calf’s body while encouraging blood flow.
After taking a minute to reflect back on the events of the last hour of my day, I had to stop and really appreciate how lucky we are to be a part of such amazing events that take place everyday. These are moments that, as a new father myself, remind me how grateful I am to be a part of something so extraordinary. Some might call it just another day on the farm, but I feel I can speak for all dairy farmers in saying that these are the moments in the every day tasks of caring for animals that really touch our heart.