Each one contributes in their own way.
The heifers are just as important as the third lactation cows.
This being said, the farm would like to recognize an "up and comer" as the November Employee of the Month!
9990 may be a little wet behind the ears, but her instincts are proving to be some of the best.
Without further adieu, I present to you Lasandra!!!!
Lasandra is a sassy little Jersey who was born on Christmas day in 2009.
That's correct, she is only two years old, however she set herself apart the day she gave birth.
She went the extra mile.
Jerseys are known for their calving ability, or calving ease.
They have rather small calves(being rather small themselves), therefore the herdsman normally does not worry too much when one is close to calving.
However, the herdsWOMAN watches each cow and heifer alike to be sure there are no problems.
Lasandra was about to have a problem the day I came back from lunch to check on her.
I walked out into the dry cow lot and there she was...
..in the beginning stages of calving.
I decided that, since this was her first, I would stay close and watch to see if she needed any help.
One of the interesting things about cows is how nonchalant they are about the whole calving thing...
Here Lasandra is just hangin out beside 7717(on the right), who seems TOTALLY un phased by the birthing that is going on rightbesideher.
I'll just go ahead and tell you....if someone is having a baby say, beside me at the beach, I'm gonna scream and run.
That's just how it is.
Anyway, I sat and watched and wrung my hands, and played with grass, and held my breath and after I realized that I too was pushing, I decided to intervene.
This was taking entirely too long for little to no progress.
There are no pictures of what happened in the middle of the story, so I'll break it down for ya.
-I army-crawled across the field to Lasandra. (P.s. Didn't want to alarm her) (P.p.s. This was right.beside.the.road).
-When I made it to her, I could barely get ahold of one foot...and it was bigger than it needed to be.
-I got up, scared her and she jumped up, baby slid back in(making a whoopie-cushion noise), and chased her around the field.
-She gave up, went in the corral.
-Ran her into the chute, where she tried to turn around 12 times.
-I took my watch off(this is important).
-Put on some gloves(also important).
-Grabbed a foot, reached in, found the other, said a prayer because I felt head not tail, hooked puller to calf, and started crankin'.
-I almost had the head out, and Lasandra was in pain. She is not a big Jersey, so even a normal-sized Jersey calf would have been a struggle. She also has narrow-hips, I can relate(this is important), I had a nightmare the next night.
-FINALLY got calf's head out and we had blinking! Score!
-After the head, the rest is cake.
-I pulled baby away from Lasandra, so she wouldn't step on her little girl...
-Grabbed a piece of straw, poked baby girl in the nostril so she would "sneeze" to clear her airway.
-And we had success!!
At this point, Lasandra could have done one of seventeen things.
She could have been a typical first-calf heifer and not cared, went and ate, wrote a song....
BUT Lasandra, after going through a truly traumatic experience, jumped up and went to find her baby!
Not all cows are good mothers.
Quite a few dairy farms, especially the big ones, don't need their mamas to actually be mamas.
They just need them to milk.
That's not the way it is, here.
I need my cows to be good mamas, and Lasandra is just that.
She comes from a long line of great Jerseys, and this is just the beginning for her.
She has a long way to go before I would consider her a veteran, but she won my respect that day.
So, congratulations Lasandra(9990) for being November's Employee of the Month!!!!