Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm a Great Grandmother!!!...warning....bovine birth photos!!

It's true!!! I am a great grandma!!! Ainslee bought two Hereford heifers to show last year, and then she had them bred last summer. One of them calves yesterday, so Ainslee named me Great Grandmother!!! I never knew I would have this title at age 37 years of age!! I am honored! Both cows are due to calve on May 8. We can predict pretty closely since they were artificially inseminated. So when I looked outside while preparing Garrett's mito cocktail doses for the day and saw that the cow, Adelaide, was holding her tail up in a strange way, I went to check on her. Sure enough, there was a tiny bit of her bag of water showing, and she was arching her back every few minutes. I woke Ainslee, but she was NOT impressed with the slowness of the process and said she was bored!!! Ainslee went back out a half hour later and came sprinting back up the coffee-wine path from the bunkhouse/barn to the house. She was screaming, "The baby's head and front legs are out!!! COME NOW!!!!" So I shot this first photo before we got too close. Momma cow was a trooper, a first-time mom. She diligently cleaned the calf and was okay with us being around. Not all moms, cow or human are like that!!!! We had a designated calving area we had kept the cows out of so it was clean and dry. We had 3 bales of clean wheat straw to bed onto the ground so Baby would be kept clean and lessen risk of infection. SO when it got close we planned to lead the cows to the clean area and make them all cozy and clean. But none of this was to happen OUR way! We thought we had all morning to wait for the baby. But nope! While Baby was half out, Ainslee ran to grab some straw to place under the calf so we could keep the cord clean until we could treat it with Betadine. Adelaide had picked a poop and mud area to lay in, of course. When Ainslee returned and spread the straw, I said, "Ainslee, let's pull the calf's front legs a  bit to get her the rest of the way out and onto the clean straw. Ainslee was so excited and possibly overwhelmed that instead of grabbing one of the calf's legs, she walked behind me and while I picked up legs, she pulled me back by my waist! It was so funny!!! So here are photos of our first calf born on our place. She is named Vivian after our dear friend Lisa's little girl, Vivian, who went to heaven too soon. Vivian the angel and the heifer have the SAME BIRTHDAY!!!! Ainslee made sure I called Lisa to be sure it was okay to name the heifer Vivian, and Lisa was delighted to get this news on her Vivian's birthday. 

We still have one more cow, Beth, to wait on. Maybe she will hold off until her due date or do like Adelaide and have an easy, daylight birth that meshes with our schedule just so.......what good cows!!!

And Garrett says the calf is not cute so it needs someone to come get it!!! He just isn't ever really impressed with animals....sigh.

But Ainslee is on CLOUD NINE and is so proud of her first calf! Now we are holding our breath that the next calf is a girl, too, so there will be many, many more babies on the way in the coming years!!!!



  1. WOW!!! that is amazing to experience... all I could think of was, the PHOTO opportunities you have now!! Adorable kiddos and baby calves :) now go take some Christmas card pics now! I would be in heaven!

  2. Oh wow!! This is so cool! I am in maternal heaven looking at those wonderful pictures. Our neighbor to the north has newborn calvies and it is such a joy to have my morning coffee on the back deck overlooking their wonderful baby antics. Your kids are in for such a FUN time! Hopefully Garrett will lighten up about the calves. He cracks me up. My 14-yr-old cow-crazy daughter would love to come help Ainslee take care of her, er, "granddaughter?"