Wednesday, March 9, 2011

No Rest!

“ Never trouble trouble
 till trouble troubles you.”
                 American Proverb.

You have probably noticed, I have not replied to any comments on my blog. I appreciate all of them and read every one. I truly learn so much from all of you. Please keep them coming, I look forward to them every morning..
 It is starting to look like Spring here and my workload is increasing, yes, I too thought I was already extremely busy.
 On the weekend we had enormous amounts of rainfall. It poured all night and day, and then it froze when the temperatures dropped to –10c. during the night. Ice and water are never a good mix.
 Sunday night, I head down to the basement to put wood in the stove. I notice the floor is wet. I run to the other side and see water everywhere.
 We live on a hill so this is unusual for us, we now know it had rained a substantial amount. We do not leave our sump pump plugged in as we never need it but, once and awhile Mother Nature laughs at us, and teaches a lesson. We clean it up and go to bed.

 Monday morning I slip, and slide out to the barnyard, I fight to open the door of the ice-covered tractor. I let it run to melt the ice while I explore the beauty of it.
 I drive down the lane admiring the view, yet worrying about all the flooding. Our lane-way through the bush is now a river of water, and ice.

 I drop the bales and take a walk around the cows. Lucky keeps pulling my gloves out of my pocket. He is getting way to friendly. I enjoy the distraction.

 I see something on the ice. It is a newborn calf, its Mother had left it, it was cleaned off but it was barely moving.
 I grab its front legs and slide it the twenty feet to the bedding. This is not an easy feat, he probably weighs about 90 pounds.
 I rub him down to get the circulation going. I cover him with hay, and jump in the tractor and race to the house. I grab the plastic, orange juice bottles I have been saving. I fill them with hot water, and wrap them in towels. I make a bottle of Colostrum powder, and warm water. I race back.
 The Mother is licking him, she had moved all the hay off of him, this is a good sign.
  I place the jugs all around him, mostly on his stomach, between his legs. I put a wool hat on his head, and gently feed him the milk. I give him some dairy paste to make him want to suck. I cover him with hay, and then I pray.
 If I take him back to the house the Mother will not accept him. This incubator is a great alternative, plus the fact I could not lift him.
 I have an important appointment in town, so I have to leave. I go take a shower, to get the 'you know what' off of me, and I head to town, hoping for the best.
 I rush through my appointment, and rush back to the farm. I put coveralls on and grab another bottle of milk, and some more jugs of hot water, just in case.

  I see a head bobbing around and cows licking this little fellow. He is fine.
 I give him more milk, with his Mother watching me closely. There is nothing more I can do; I take the jugs,and the hat, back home.
 That evening My Hero and I go back to feed him again. He only drinks a little but very quickly. He runs to his Mom the wrong end but he is trying.
 In the night My Hero jumps out of bed and runs to open the window. We can hear the coyotes yipping, and having a great time. My Hero wants to go back in the dark.
 I tell him to go back to bed, and I remind him, if that is a celebration, the table has already been set.
 It is Tuesday. I wake early in the morning and wait for first light. I make a bottle and head back, hoping for the best. With any kind of luck, we will be calling him Lucky 2.

   I can’t believe it; he is fine. I wrestle with him to see if he will drink. He chugs it down and then runs right to his Mother. At least, he is on the right end this time. Only time will tell. I will come back at noon and hopefully he will be too full for my bottle.

 Thank Goodness, only 8 more to go. I am going to take a nap.



  1. Buttons, after all that I would be so bonded with that calf he would be a pet. It was always hard as a kid to let the calves we had watched go........He is certainly a beautiful fellow.

  2. The life of a farmer is never easy but the joy of it, and the sorrow, keeps the heart alive.

  3. Awww -- so glad Lucky 2 seems to be on the right road. What a day you had! Spring is such a busy time. I do hope your water woes resolve themselves. :)

  4. Well done by you. The little one will be ok I am sure. You do love your cows :) M

  5. It sounds like you showed up just in time...lucky little calf. I hope he continues to do well. By the way, I love the quote you chose for the day.:)

  6. Oh what a sweet little guy! SO glad you arrived in the nick of time to get him warmed up, protected and fed. :)

  7. OMG, you do have your hands full now! Hang in there, so grateful you got there when you did! Be careful with all that water running, last spring we had some real disaster stories happening in our neck of the woods! God Speed!

  8. Somebody told me the other day that her friend has calves and sheep in her bathtub on cold thaw them out and save their ears and noses.... I did wonder about the mother accepting them again.... but, didn't ask her.... somebody has to be pretty strong to life 80 to 90 lbs. into and out of tubs.... hmmm... maybe somebody was telling tall tales...

  9. Oh thank goodness he is ok. That poor little calf. I wouldn't have been able to get back to sleep with those coyotes howling and that baby out there. The stories you have to tell....

    Cindy Bee

  10. Glad Lucky 2 didn't end up as a midnight feast. Maybe all his foster mothers protected him from the intruders. The beginning of Spring seems to be more trouble than the whole winter was in your part of the world!

  11. Raising livestock is NOT nine to five! You work so hard to save your investment and watch as things like bad weather and bad luck pull everything out from under your feet. So glad the baby survived the rough start. Blessings to you and Your Hero for all the hard work.

  12. That's several times that I've read your posts about the cows while holding my breath. You are a good storyteller and I'm very happy that the calf survived!

  13. I'm always a bit leery of peeking down into the basement this time of year, even with two sump pumps on the go, things can get dicey.

    So glad to hear Lucky 2 is doing well thus far. I enjoyed reading about your day.


  14. Such a handsome little (?) man. He's so lucky to have a Fairy Godmother in you! Hope your water problems decrease.

  15. Oh, it's so hard to wait and see and give the animals time to work things out for themselves! Do you help or don't you? Glad it worked out!

    We've got a lamb right now that I've had penned with her Momma for observation because I've been worried she wasn't nursing well. I weighed her again this morning and she's up 5 oz since Wed so I think she's doing ok. We're going to let her out this evening. So nerve-wracking but so worthwhile!

  16. I'm so glad this one ended happily. The calf will surely be ok now that he's feeding off Mum.
    Didn't know how it would end while reading through your post. He is a lucky fellow that you're so vigilent.

    The closeup of the tractor tyre is so good ... everyday things!


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

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