Ha...I got your attention! Not exactly what you usually read on my posts, is it?
But before I get into that...I know I've been slacking in my blogging lately. We've been busy...like most of you are...and other things have to take priority sometimes. I'm finally getting around to "spring" cleaning my house, and it's almost mid June! The garden is growing...the grass is growing even faster...and the cows still demand attention on a regular basis. There just aren't enough hours in the day for everything, are there?
That said...I'll move on to explain that title...
Last night I was downstairs late...reading. Jim had asked me to check on a springing heifer before I came to bed, so around 10:45 I slipped on my boots, grabbed a flashlight and headed out to the barn. He had checked her an hour or so before, and she was fine. It was just starting to rain, and of course she was outside by herself, with just the tip of one little hoof showing. I got her into the barn, closed the gate and put some fresh fodder in the pen. At this point everything looked fine, so I went inside for a few minutes in hopes that she would lay down and have her calf on her own.
When I checked her again, I saw more of just one leg, and now a nose as well, but no sign of the other leg. So...I woke up Jim. He came out, donned a plastic sleeve and was able to find and pull the other leg front and we helped her deliver her calf.
The result was this little heifer calf...the newest member of the herd...
Of course it's not unusual to have a heifer calf, but it is unusual for us to be expecting a heifer calf.
We primarily breed our animals artificially (AI), and we usually breed our 14-15 month old heifers to a Jersey, which results in a smaller calf, thus an easy delivery, allowing the new Mom a better chance to get off to a good start.
Last summer though, we had two heifers that Jim decided to breed using sexed semen, which results in a very high percentage of calves in the gender you want. In our case, heifers. Last night's calf was one of those.
It was interesting, watching this heifer as she got close to her due date...wondering if the calf would, in fact, be a heifer. The other heifer that was bred last summer apparently didn't settle (conceive) , so we'll expect a little Jersey calf from her sometime later this summer, from the Jersey bull at the other farm.
There's always something new to learn!