Calving season started on Sugar Creek Farm, and started with a bang. Saturday morning, about 11:15, our first cow gave birth – to TWINS! The kids and I were shopping in Mason and missed all the excitement.
Twins can be bad news – the mother may not take them both, or may not have enough milk for both, necessitating one be bottle fed. Twins are usually premature, and therefore more susceptible to illness. The weather was kind of nasty, chilly and very very windy. Matt had quite a time getting them up to the shed and dried off. But after overnighting in the shed, Mom and babies were all doing well and he let them out Sunday morning. I really hope these twins are a sign that we are heading into some good luck (even though I officially don’t believe in such things).
Then, when Matt got up early this morning, he went out to find Red Lady and her brand-new calf. After I took Rafe to daycare we walked out to have a look. It was truly an amazing thing. The two of them were standing by the fence. Baby was still wet, and it was really cold this morning – 15 degrees plus a light wind. Poor thing was wet and shivering. But I couldn’t believe how spunky he was, only a few hours old.
Mama didn’t like it much when we came up to the gate, so she started getting away from us. She would walk off a little ways, and then call baby with a low, quiet moo. Baby would run and catch up to her – no easy task when you’re that little and negotiating the muddy ruts frozen into the ground. So they continued this walk off – moo – catch up exercise until they got far enough away that mama felt more comfortable.
Later, when I got back in the house, they were standing out in the middle of the upper pasture where a little patch of hay was on the ground. I could see them from the kitchen window, and it was such a beautiful sight watching baby searching for the udder, finally finding it, and getting some nourishment while mama licked on him.
As I type this now, in my upstairs office, I can see all of them out the window. Red Lady and the new baby are hanging out on the pile of wood chips. The twins are feeling good, running and kicking up their heels. So cute! Matt’s out there spreading manure in the south part of the main pasture. It is truly a beautiful and peaceful thing.