Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sick Day?

 Out of the strain of the doing,
Into the strain of the done.
          Julia Louise Woodruff

 As you all know I was not going to post to my blog because I was sick and needed to rest. Usually not a big problem but this is a little more complicated at calving time.

My day started with feeding the cows, walked around them and checked for tracks in the snow/mud, everything was fine so I headed to the house. Since I had completely run out of bread and milk and I noticed the cows were low on salt I decided I better make a quick trip to town. I will not breathe on anyone and this was an emergency (OK a little emergency). I made this trip go as quick as I could.

When I got back with all the groceries that I did not know I really needed, but apparently I did because the sales were so good, I put them all away. I then noticed the floor was getting a little more dusty than I am used to (darn woodstove) so I dragged out the vacuum and vacuumed through the house. By this time I was getting very tired and thought I should lie down but thought I would first go back and take the salt to the cows. I dragged the salt out of the Jeep and loaded it in the tractor. I drove down the very icy slippery lane to the bush.

When I dropped the salt in the container I thought I should take a walk around and make sure everything was all right. This is when I noticed a cow having a calf. She was an older experienced cow so I was pretty sure she knew what she was doing so I let her be. I did sit in the tractor and watch her for a bit but then decided I would go start supper. They do much better if you are not watching them. Back at the house I was going to have chicken but knew I would have to leave the house and may not have time, so I just threw some beef and  some noodles in a pan with lots of veggies and sautéed it. I then threw that in a dish in the oven and put it on 350 degrees thinking after I got back from checking on the new calf it would be perfect.

I now headed back to check on the new calf. It was about four thirty by that time. I left a note on the door for My Hero to turn the oven off,  if  by any chance I was not up. Experience has taught me to never expect things to go as planned.

When I got back the cow had not had the calf yet, I watched her for a while and when she was no longer getting up anymore I went to see what the problem was. It seemed this big footed (that is all I could see) was stuck. I ran back to the tractor and got light calving chains that we use for this. I carefully put them around the knuckles of the front feet wrapped twice around for comfort and waited while she did the work. I did not pull I just kept tension on the chains while she pushed. She had just needed a little help. She would push I would keep the pressure on, I leaned back sitting on the ground never letting off this tension. First its head with its big curly eye lashes, then its hips and out it came. This is all it took. She looked back at me while she was working and I could tell she was happy to have the help. I cleaned its throat and stuck my finger up its nose to make it take its first breath. It was amazing. I must say I have not had to help a calf in years. It is something I never hope I have to do but I will do it. The Mother jumped up to take care of her calf licking it off. This stimulates the calf she was constantly mooing and soothing the calf. Since I could see she was doing what she was supposed to and had lots of milk I left her to be.

When I was driving the tractor back to the house I see My Hero drive in the driveway. Perfect timing. I went in the house and pulled out my very dry beef concoction. I was longer then I thought. We sat down ate this delicious meal and I did the dishes. There is certainly no such thing as sick days on the farm.

Later we went back to check the calf it was eating, and was all clean and dry and all the other calves were welcoming him. Everyone, man (me), and beast (cow and calf) was fine. I remember thinking what it would be like to really have a sick day in bed? Off to bed it is 9:30.

See you Friday I am taking a sick day, hopefully



  1. Oh my, Buttons! You are so busy. I'm sorry your didn't get to rest but I know that MaMa and baby were happy to have your assistance. May today be a restful one!

  2. Put your feet up and have a sick day for sure. You deserve it. What a wonderful day you had even though you didn't feel all that great. Enjoyed reading about it.


  3. that's awesome! i hate having to pull a calf, but it's so fullfilling when it all works out. we don't get sick days for sure...maybe that's why we get better faster. get well soon, love the story, i can soo relate.

  4. what a wonderful thing to be a part of, just a shame you are so sick at the moment. Try and take it easy for the next few days.


  5. Hope you have better luck this time.

  6. glad you could help that mama cow! so much for getting any kind of rest! i've only seen one calf birthed (and helped out) and it did not end well for mama or calf, unfortunately.

  7. Oh wow, so good you were there able to help. That must have been an amazing feeling helping the calf be born. You'll have to schedule in that sick day!!! Hope you feel better really soon!

  8. Wow Buttons, what a day for a sick day. So good you could help the mummy cow when she needed it. You must have been exhausted when you got home. Have a nice recovering, day off tomorrow. Tell those cows that Ellie said you could have the day off lol.

  9. Take care of yourself and go to bed for the day, Buttons. You do too much sometimes and this is your body sending you a sign to have some time out for yourself. Sew, knit, read....whatever you enjoy. Just have a 'relax'!! Maa

  10. This is an adventure I have never had so I enjoyed reading about it. I do hope you really, REALLY take a sick day so you'll get better though.

  11. He is a cutie and well worth helping her out. Sick Days would be nice - some times I wish I didn't feel so obligated to being at work. One... we need the money right now and Two... I feel guilty when I stay home "just sick". Isn't that silly? This morning I think Scott was on the verge of sitting on me to keep me here. I'll be home 3 days in a row this weekend - I'll rest then. See you FRIDAY.

  12. Ewweee gross.LOL. My goodness, after dinner did you get to rest. I do not know how you did that. I had to help with kittens once. Yuck. Women like you are such a help to your husbands, I hope they appreciate you. Smiles, Susie (She Junks)

  13. I never get tired of seeing, helping or hearing a story of a calf or piglet being born - doesn't it feel good to know that you were there when that momma cow needed you - it so makes it worth it!

  14. I'm late reading glad you were there to help her! And I hope you can get some much needed rest tomorrow. Take care of yourself!

  15. I don't miss those days. If you ever notice farm/ranch kids usually have perfect attendance. I have a beautiful log cabin in the woods, I would love to have a sick day, but I never seem sick enough to stay home. Darn ranch life ruined me.

  16. I am impressed! Take care hope you feel better.

  17. A very busy sick day! That calving sounds quite an experience. It's good that you know what to do when there is trouble!

  18. yup...not fun taking a 'sick' day when we are actually sick.....
    feel better soon dear Buttons....

  19. Oh my goodness glory girl, I'm sad your not feelin' well but the truth is the truth and there are no sick days on the farm.

    Durin' my years of teachin' Hubs would always schedule cattle workin' days on my days off from school. Yep, like that's a 'break'!!!

    Take care of yourself sweetie and have a blessed day!!!

    Feel better!!!

  20. You are not kidding about those sick days. The work must go on.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  21. midwifery always comes first (even though they do call it "husbandry" I say pfffft)

    There are no sick days - living takes work lol but I hope you can get some "living" done while laying down for a bit!!!

    wait - that didnt sound right *blush*



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