Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hit by a Cyclone

I think Millie must have felt the same way as I did about her due date of Friday the 13th - better to be early than to risk it, really. 
 
Saturday afternoon, I noticed her down in the bottom of the north pasture by herself, not necessarily acting like she was gonna calve, but acting like she was gonna calve.  You have to know Millie to understand that.  I call her the 'Stealth Calver' for good reason. I had already planned to move Millie, Joy and LeeLu - all due next weekend - into the maternity pasture after I got the feeder bunks set up for them.  After observing Millie for a few minutes, I went out and set up the feeder bunks and then moved the three of them into the maternity pasture by late afternoon.  To an experience rancher who didn't know her, she didn't look like calving was gonna happen any time real soon, but to me, I had my doubts that she'd last the night.  I still remember Sharon two years ago.  We walked by Millie and I remarked that she was just about to pop.  Sharon, who has WAY more experience than I and runs 125 pairs as well as being our go-to person in times of calving trouble, looked her over and said 'Nope, she's got a ways to go yet, at least a week'.  30 minutes later, I called Sharon to report that Millie and her baby boy were doing just fine.  She drove by to make sure I wasn't pulling her leg, and just shook her head.  So, that's why Millie is a stealth calver.
 
I fed everyone around 6, went in and got Dale dinner, watched bull riding and about 9, Dale said he was headed to bed, and I said I was gonna go do a bed check on the puffy cows and follow.  By now, we'd had almost .9" of rain for the day after 1.5" yesterday, but it was warm at a pretty steady 51-52 degrees, where it had been all day.  Last year at this time, when Millie's daughter Banshee was born, it was about 20 degrees with 24" of snow on the ground.  As I sloshed thru the maternity pasture, sweeping the flash looking for eyeball reflections, I saw Joy and LeeLu down by the gate to the working arena, and on the far other side of the pasture, I saw Millie lying down.  I walked over, noted icky bits around her girl parts, and then she jumped up and there was Cyclone, already cleaned up but of course, sopping wet from the downpour in progress.  I verified sex, saw he hadn't quite been up and sucking yet, so I went over to check the other two puffy cows for a bit, do some stuff in the barn (so NICE to have lights!!), got the bottle of iodine and went back out to take care of his navel.  By then he was up and looking for his first meal, so it was pretty easy to treat his navel.
 
This morning, he was running laps around mom as she ate, and it took Dale and I a bit to round him up to weigh him.  A pretty perfect 75# black bull calf - someone's gonna get lucky with this guy!
 
I don't expect Joy to wait a lot longer, and her momma LeeLu has been nicknamed the Hindenburg due to her enormous girth.  Doc Vanegas didn't say anything about twins during her preg check, but I wouldn't be surprised....
 
 12 hours old

 Roar and Millie put some FINE butts on their boys!

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