Monday, October 17

The Journey From Calf to Cow

Babies amaze me, they really do.
One second they are a lump you can see when a cow stands facing you and her belly kicks out to one side, the next minute they are two feet followed by a big, slimy body, and then the next they are standing there....

lookin' at you while their mother licks them.
I can't even begin to tell you what that is followed by.....

-Separating them from their mother, really not that painful people.  YOU are sadder than mama is.

-Wrestling with baby, with her head between your legs, trying to get her to drink a bottle.
  -Is it bad that when I am in public and I see a mother try and feed her baby with a bottle, and the baby doesn't close its mouth around the bottle, I have an almost insatiable urge to grab it around the mouth and clamp its mouth onto the bottle to make it drink?  I didn't think so....

-Baby gets the hang of the bottle thing and expects you to show up an hour early every day to feed it.  Because it was hungry, like, yesterday.

-Baby moves into a hutch where she more than likely will try to jump out, get a bucket stuck to her head or get her head stuck in a square of woven wire...I don't think they ever learn how small their head is compared to their body.

-Baby is weaned and turned into a field, where she finds out that she is lightening fast.  Like my early twenties fast.  All of her energy has been confined to a hutch...until now.  Only one problem..just a small one really..the stop.  She will run into a gate, they all do, then she learns that the stop is as important as the go.  But it sure is entertaining to watch. 

-She also must get used to a no-milk diet.  This is not normally a problem.  The only problem is prying her out of the feed trough when she tries to use it as her stage for table dancing. 

-She spends her first year doing WhateverTheHeckSheWants.  Which may, or may not, include running through a fence during a thunder storm on Christmas Eve night, and ending up TWO MILES down the road in a field with an Angus bull, on Christmas day.  That was a LONG day.

-When she is a year old she takes a trip to the dairy barn...oooooooh....aaaaaahhhhhh.  She will spend the net month job-shadowing in preparation for her big move next year.  Oh, and she drinks THE water and winds up 13(months) and pregnant. 

-She is then moved out to the field to spend the next 250-ish days eating for two.

-When she is close to calving, she  joins the veteran close-ups and waits on baby to arrive.

-Her baby is born, and she has a choice.  She can either learn to be a mother, take care of it and make Farm Girl proud.  OR, she can go eat.  The second choice is often the most popular.  I call this "job security".

-After 24 hours, or so, she is taken up to the dairy barn to start her first of many lactations. 

-2 years is the blink of an eye.

Oh, the places you will go baby girl.

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