It was a warm, warm, very warm day today. DollyMooD looked very warm. Her due date to calve isn’t until the 17th of July, but she typically goes early. I checked on her this morning and there were some major changes from yesterday. Her ‘pins’ are very relaxed and she is looking slab sided.
The pups weren’t home this morning, like usual, so I went out to see if Dolly had already calved. She hadn’t, but they were out there with her anyway. IT’s almost as if they know something is about to take place.
Each morning there is a ‘cow convention’ in the orchard. All the nurse cows, calves, and the bull come up to rest in the shade and cud. Emma’s ‘boys’ love their gramma Dolly. Emma frequently leaves them with her to babysit. Cows are good about that.
They are very neighborly and help each other out. I am not sure if they ever 'borrow a cup of milk' or not, but they are still good neighbors.
She looked decidedly uncomfortable. Then she started doing ‘baby talk’. She laid there with the rest and began to softly moo, as if she was crooning to her not yet born calf.
Cletus laid a short distance off, under a fallen tree, keeping watch over all of them. After awhile, Dolly got up and parted company with the rest. That was when I was sure this was the day. She headed ALL the way down to the bottom of the big pasture. Alone. By herself.
A few hours later, I decided I had better check on her, and make sure she hadn’t started calving and if she had, that there were no problems. I got on my 4 wheeler and headed the long mile down the horse lane to the bottom of the pasture. I saw Dolly about ¾ of the way down, way out in the deep grass…but only for a second. She suddenly dropped out of sight and I knew this was it. I raced down to the gate in 4th gear, then slowly headed up the inside fence line to the approximate area I had seen her go down.
Pshaw! Calving problems my foot! She spit that little turkey out in record time. She was already back up on her feet by the time I arrived, 4 minutes later, licking her little pile of goo like he was the sweetest thing on earth. I crossed my fingers it was a heifer. I told her I wanted a Jersey/Angus heifer for my birthday. That is a couple days off yet, so I can’t hold it against her for having a bull calf, since it wasn’t on the right day.
I took a few pictures and drove back up to the house to get her some molasses water. As I headed up the horse lane to the barn, I passed the ranch caavy on their way back to the pasture. They had apparently finished their long day's work and I felt like I was goin the wrong way on a One-Way street.
After plying Randyman for a 5 gallon bucket, I filled it up, he carried it to the 4-wheeler for me, and I carefully headed back down to the ‘bovine maternity ward’.
Dolly gratefully slurped down the 5 gallons of sweet energizing water and went to eating grass. Her calf was almost dry and on his feet now, looking for the ‘cafeteria’. She was being very accommodating, by squirting milk all over the ground. She squirted and squirted, and that little squirt kept sucking her front shoulder, her knee, her brisket, and the top of her udder. It apparently didn’t occur to him to look underneath, where his dinner was quickly disappearing into the ground. He headed to the molasses water bucket. I noted he was about the same color. I pushed him back at her, she kept mooing, he kept trying to follow me. He sure did look like that molasses water. I thought about EmmaLou’s bull calf, which is almost 2 weeks old now and now we had “One Mo”. Mo for molasses, and another bull calf.
Welcome to the ranch, Mo.