Poor Shelly. Timing is everything. Last year, she was so excited to be part of her first calving, but it ended quite badly. This year, it was Ruffie who was due to calve on Friday, the last day Shelly was to be here, so she was sure that she'd get to take part in a good, easy, successful calving, because after all, it was Ruffie, an old hand at popping out calves with zero effort. Been there, done that 6 times already; this was number 7. And so we watched her. And watched her. There is a saying that a watched cow never calves, and Ruffie was no exception. By around 10 this morning, Shelly had to hit the road to Davis, California to pick up her son and head back home to Encinitas, near San Diego. Ruffie was her usual self, hangin' out in the heat, swatting flies. About 30 minutes later, we headed out to get a few errands done ourselves. We got back around 1 in the afternoon, and I went out to check on Ruffie. As I walked towards the gate to the maternity pasture, I saw the sheep pop out of the barn one by one, all 5 of them. Except I only have 4 sheep in that pasture, and one of them was a tad larger than the rest and jet black as well as a bit wobbly. I called Dale to come try out the new weigh sling from Premier, I chased the little bugger around mom a bit before I finally caught hold of her, verified a little heifer and iodined her navel. Dale came out with the puttputt and we weighed her at a perfect 74# and sent her back to mom, who was, as usual, hanging over our shoulders as we did our thing with her little girl. Since then, she's discovered that there is a thing called 'shade' that during a major heat wave, is a good thing to seek out, and that mom has an unending supply of milk for her enjoyment.
I had been waiting for a little girl sired by Roar that I could name after our former OSU vet, Dr. Aurora Villaroel, who did so much for us for so many years while she was with OSU. She left us last year, and I couldn't think of a more fitting tribute than to name a fine heifer calf after her. Trust me - she would appreciate it!
|Just about an hour old|
About 4 hours old, dried and full