Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lucky Lucy is her name and this is her story… (Part One)

Faith is courage;
it is creative while despair is always destructive.
             David Saville Muzzey

 This subject may offend some of you but it is my real farming life. You may choose to read or not.

          
Farming can be difficult at the best of times and every farmer I know is extremely dedicated to keeping his or her animals safe, comfortable and healthy at all costs, no matter the weather. This has been a bit more of a challenge this winter with those record cold temperatures and horrible wind-chills, but we all do everything we can to protect our animals.  I have a lot of my blogger friends asking about our animals in this weather and I want to assure you that they are well cared for, even with the more physical demands of our own bodies. Sometimes things happen prepared or not. Our animals have always come first, do not ever think otherwise. Most farmers I know think this way.


I woke up early as usual, knowing and based on my experience of observation that there were no cows to have any calves for a few days. I remember being so grateful for this because the temperatures have been unusually cold for us. I headed out to check our cows before my breakfast. This checking is something I do three times a day regardless of the weather or anything else I have to do, because only a fool would assume things always go as they are planned. Our cows are sheltered and we do have two very healthy rambunctious calves running around kicking up their hooves exploring the new world they came into, without any problems. We would have liked to have had them born during warmer weather but usually this has always been the perfect weather. There are usually no cases of pneumonia, scours or health problems that may come with having them in the damp wet spring, happening this time of year.


When I did get back there I noticed tracks leading away from where our cows are sheltered in the south side of a huge weather blocking stand of cedars and abundant bedding, and usually are all hanging out together. The cows laying there were not bothered with the cold temps and blowing snow because they were completely sheltered. As a matter of fact I had pulled off my toque because I was finding it warm while walking. I walked among my girls, talking and observing. The new calves were snuggled by their Mamas lying back sleeping and very comfortable in the deep bedding. Healthy and happy, something I like to see.

Those tracks headed back to another grove of cedar trees with bedding on the south side where the sun was shining, so I was not worried. Sometimes Moms just need to be on their own to have calves and they do very well, most times. We are always prepared for that case, with multiple spots having abundant bedding and sheltered but still very private, for those so inclined Moms to find and use.


That was when I saw a calf in the snow, not on the bedding, with no Mother in sight, a rare thing this time of year based on my own experience. I knew sometimes cows show no signs of impeding calving and this was unfortunately one of those times. I rushed over to see if she/he was OK. It was all cleaned off and just left alone, highly unusual for a Mom to abandon after cleaning it off. The calf usually gets up pretty quick and starts suckling while she continues to clean it. I was guessing this little one was probably about an hour old. I knew I could not move this calf myself so I phoned My Hero and told him I needed help, he left work and rushed to my side.

I walked back to my Jeep parked in the laneway and grabbed my emergency wool and if I ever break down coat, from the back seat and ran back to cover the calf. Back with it I covered it while soothing and holding its ears with my bare hands to keep its ears from freezing. I kept blowing my warm breath on its face and kept it as warm as I could while I waited. Finally I heard the voice of My Hero calling and I knew everything was going to be OK. We carried that not so little calf to the truck and rushed back to the house.


 The little heifer (girl) was placed in our basement with the woodstove going and the southern exposure warming her. We gave her warm fluids and rubbed her, and rubbed her getting the circulation going. I smiled as I watched My Hero talk to her and soothed her with his gentle manner. This is a real farmer who loves the animals and does anything he can to keep them safe. Most farmers do everything to keep their animals safe and it makes me so sad when others say, and think otherwise.

Unfortunately this story is running too long for a Blog post so I am going to have to make it two installments. Sorry. Please come back on Monday and you will see why Lucky Lucy has that name and that she reminds me of another cow who goes by the name of Annie. Once a Hero always a Hero, and that is who My Hero really is to me.

PART TWO HERE

Linking with 
Clearwater Farm Journal
Clearwaterfarm. Blog hop #109 today go visit.


Later

49 comments:

  1. Oh, you left this as a cliff hanger! Sounds like Lucky Lucy made it bit I want to know more. ;)

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  2. Since Lucy is Lucky, I hope there is a happy ending to this story. We are forecast to get more snow and frigid wind chills this weekend, so it will require more frequent checks of our "ladies" in the pastures. We'll hope for happy endings, too. Good luck with the rest of your calving, B!

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  3. I can't wait to read the rest of the story! You are so good to your animals, Buttons. It's your passion, it's very evident, and Lucky Lucy is going to be one spoiled heifer, I can just imagine the stories we will get to hear about her all summer long!! :)

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  4. alright mrs. buttons you have me in tears. i need a tissue please. what a special story. i can't wait to hear more. i guess we unfarmer types just assume that calves are born in perfect experiences or times. we don't realize what you farmers have to do to get them living and running properly. i don't know if you ever watch McLeod's Daughters a show out of Australia. i don't know how much it was real or right or what not? but i loved it. yet another reason i feel i want to be a farmer one day. maybe i hope??! fingers crossed. i bet not wait to late - i am not getting any younger. any who ... i think about ya all the time and wonder how farm life is going for ya. that 1st pic is just too precious. how did she poise so perfectly!!! we are having snow like a crazy time these days ... it is wild out. coming down like it will never stop. i am thankful you have such a great "Hero" in your life. you are one lucky lady. so cool. when you find a great man you better keep him close. i sure know that with my hubby. have a great day!! thank you for stopping by my blog. you take care. ( :

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  5. Looks like she found herself a new mom! Can't wait to read more about this sweetie.

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  6. So glad you found Lucy before she froze. Will you bottle feed her? Where do you get colostrum for calves that are abandoned? I am guessing there is a place you can purchase it frozen for storage... I do hope Lucy makes it--I know sometimes they don't despite the best of care.

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  7. I love your farming story Buttons and I can so relate to to it. It's so lucky you found her in time to rescue her.
    It doesn't always end up so smoothly when a cow decides to give birth before the expecting date when it's bitter cold. We've had cows who lays against the gate and the calf ends up on the other side and she can't tend to it. We cover them with calf warmers jackets and feed them warm milk trying to warm them up from the inside.Sometimes I use extra blankets. It's tough being a calf born in the winter.

    I love seeing your hero laying alongside the calf. I don't think my husband would go that far but I would if I had to...Looking forward to reading the rest of the story.
    Hugs,
    JB

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  8. So glad you found her! Waiting for the rest of the story.

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  9. Oh, I understand this story....from personal experiences and through stories from my friend. My friend has a beef operation...can not tell you how many times we have had to check cows for her....she doesn't leave her farm for weeks during this time. I can't wait to see if she "made it..." Yes, this is the part of farming, people don't understand. When I had my shop open here - I would share some of the "stories" with my customers....some turned out and some didn't - however, all lessons.

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  10. lucky lucy must live...

    but wondering about the mama.... doesn't seem a mama would just abandon her new born.... something happened to momma, betcha'...

    till next time...

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  11. I remember the days on our farm when any baby animals were born in the winter or damp cold spring and had a tuff time where mama didn't do what she was supposed to we would bring them in to our basement to a comfy warm dry stall we had built and we looked after them be it hand feed bottle feed you name it till they were healthy and strong enough to be back with the group ! Some animals moms especially for the first baby are not always instinctive ! Thanks for caring like you do and yes all farmer I have ever known care very much for their animals . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day ! P.S hope the mum is ok and Lucy is beautiful !

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  12. Your hero is a biiiig softie :)

    And thank goodness for Basements, eh? Next month will be busy around here, and Im sure to meet at least one calf in someones kitchen LOL
    xoxo

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  13. will be back on Monday for the next part of the story.

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  14. Sounds like Lucy is going to be just fine..now...what's with the mama.

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  15. A heartwarming story. Looking forward to Part 2. And thanks for being such caring and dedicated farmers.

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  16. So glad you found her when you did. Hooray for a warm basement. xo Laura

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  17. Part 2 better have a happy ending. I'm just sayin'. ;)

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  18. Awww.. Poor little girl! I'm so happy to hear you found her! Can't wait till Monday!

    Hugs~

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  19. I am so pleased you located her when you did, such dedication in looking after your animals. Looking forward to Monday's post.

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  20. Yes, me too ... so pleased you found her. Hugs :D)

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  21. You rock girl! And your Hero! 24/7 no matter the weather, no matter if there's 100 to go or 1 to go... Keep up the good work! :)
    Cheri
    Lucky Lucy looks like my bottle baby Daisy May! Yea, we name our cows. Don't all cowgirls?:)

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  22. Darn, I wanted to find out what happened to the cow. Oh well, I can wait. These events never happen at an appointed time. good luck.

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  23. Of course B., you would do everything possible to save this beautiful little girl. Thank you thank you for being you. And your hero too.

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  24. I am anxiously awaiting the rest of the story. Farming is hard! Working with animals tugs at the heart.

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  25. Now the mystery until you write again - where was Mama and will the little one survive? I admire the hard work you and the Hero do every day.

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  26. Yes, never take anything for granted- your routine saved this li'l calf.

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  27. Oh! You stopped right when I was ready to read the next sentence! I hope "Lucky Lucy" is in good condition. What happened to the mama? xo Nellie

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  28. B,

    Lucky Lucy was very lucky little girl. It's a real good thing you were checking the fields and cattle at that specific time. Great news you and your Hero were able to lift this baby up, and into your jeep to bring her back to your basement in warm quarters to thaw out. I'm hoping Lucky Lucy continues with her luck, and turns into a beautiful fully grown cow.
    Hugs,
    Sandy

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  29. Ah! Tis sad but you looked after you calf :)

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  30. I'll come back to read "the rest of the story" ! Keeping livestock is always an adventure, and this reads like an adventure, a farming adventure, to me.

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  31. "i'll be back"....i bet you wish you could bring them all inside!!!!!

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  32. Do glad you found her! Sometimes it's hard slogging through snow and cold but yes it is what we do farming and btw am awfully glad I can finally get on here to comment again!

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  33. That is so true - no matter how smoothly things seem to be going, there is always the risk of something unexpected happening. I am so glad you and your hero are such good and conscientious farmers. Thank goodness you go out as often as you do, since this terrible cold would have done her in! Can't wait for the next installment!

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  34. Thank goodness you spotted her, poor little thing. I am looking forward to part 2 eagerly!
    Lynne x

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  35. A warm bathtub of water can help a great deal with hypothermic calves. Another hint to help warm them is an old sweat shirt, put their front legs in the arms. I also used to use the sleeves with eye holes cut out near the cuff, to slip over calves heads to stop their ears from freezing. I look forward to part two as well!

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  36. The is one lucky cow! Just imagine if you had not gone to find her, poor little thing. Looking forward to the next installment.

    Jen

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  37. Sounds like we have both been rescuing animals this week! I know how it goes though, where I kept my pony there were calves. I will never forget the year a calf got into the river and was swept away and the cow tried to go in afterwards. It was devastating for everyone x

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  38. Oh, the stories I could tell of driving in blinding blizzards, throwing baby calves in the back, putting them in the barn and then staying up all night giving them warm milk. As you say a rancher does everything possible to keep their herd healthy, no matter how cold it is. Filly was my bum calf. She was as wide as she was tall. She ended having a quite a few twins and lived a very long life. I have high hopes we will get to see Lucky Lucy in a hat because of your watchful eye.

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  39. Lucky Lucy is a Lucky girl, I hope her mama came out alright after the birth.Thank heavens you spotted her! I was thinking about the calves being born in our area, usually it's cold and freezing but this year has been so warm. I love seeing them frisky and bouncing around their mama's.

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  40. Grace girl ... you and your hero are EXTRAORDINARY people and farmers ... you push yourself to such physical limits with what you have ... and your hero truly is one heck of a hero !
    I can't wait to read the next post !!
    Joy : )
    I so wish Spring would get the heck out of bed and come see us ? LOL

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  41. I may not always say it but I am so in awe of everything you do & have done over the past few years...I love to read your blog and sometimes if I have been away and need to read many posts at a time, it is like reading a beloved book! Can hardly wait until the next chapter!

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  42. I have often wondered how your beautiful animals survive the snowy weather but felt I shouldn't bother you with such questions.
    I read this story with trepidation and it brought tears to my eyes and I need so badly to know how Lucy fared after the loving attention she received from you and your Hero. The name perhaps gives the end of the story away or at last I do so hope it does.
    Will you tell us why the mum had abandoned her baby in such a way? Seems such an unusual thing to happen. Was the mother cow OK I wonder?
    It is so difficult for we who live in a this part of Australia where we never see snow to understand the work involved in keeping your stock safe and healthy in the dreadful weather you experience during your winter months. Have to take my hat off to you both.

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  43. Awww, I hope she is well!! Thanks for sharing at the hop, I hope you share with us this week, so we know how things turned out :)

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  44. i have been thinking of you, wondering how you are doing!! i sure hop lucy pulls through! see you tomorrow!!

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  45. Poor little one... life isn't easy and not fair, it just is, hoping she makes it...

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  46. What a story! I'm so happy you found her when you did. I admire you and your hero's dedication to your animals, putting them first. Hope she is doing well. Oh, and I love that quote at the top of the post.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.