Monday, July 21, 2014

Last Calf of the Year!

Ah, the last calf of the year.  Somewhat bittersweet, knowing that no more new arrivals for many months, no more surprises, no more anxiously waiting to find out what colour and sex.  No more slopping thru knee deep snow and ice, or wallowing in cold mud in the rain, or trudging out every 2 hours on an icy, filthy wet and dark night to see if she's popped yet.  So, there is that part.
Ruffie waited until it cooled off, the sun went down (barely) and the flies went away for the night to calve.  I went out to check her around 2240 (I knew she would calve before midnight) and saw the first presentation of the water bag.  The cats and I stood there in the dark, leaning up against the barn, watching the dark blob that was Ruffie pace around, lie down, get up, moo, and repeat a few times before she went down for the final push around 2310.  I heard the splooshy plop, saw the dark blob get up and turn around and I knew she was done.  At that point, I turned the flashlight back on, shooed off the damn ewe lambs with den mother Pogo (I would be doing that many more times in the ensuing 45 minutes) who came over to see what the fuss was all about, saw a live calf snorting, and checked sex and colour.  Definitely a boy, at first thought black, but then saw the light ring around his eyes and figured he could be a dun, which he was.  Waited until he gained his feet and headed for the faucets before heading back to the house for the night.  Ruffie had things well in hand, and being the great momma cow that she is, I had no worries.
This morning he was bright, lively and running around with his little tail in the air, enjoying his new world.  Tomorrow, he gets two new playmates, as we will be weaning Bodie and Banshee the 5 month old calves.  I christened him 'Boomer' as last night, just as he got his legs under him, Ruffie would knock him down again and continue cleaning him.  I kept saying 'oh no, fall down go boom!' every time she did it, so it just seemed like a good name for him.  And, it's a 'B' year anyway.
In the meantime, enjoy the pictures.  They are from this morning, at about 6 hours old

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