My friends all know that starting around Thanksgiving, they won’t see much of me – because IT begins……….the calving!!! It is fast and furious to say the least. And if you thought you could use that line from Gone with the Wind – “Oh, Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothing about birthin’ them babies” – get over it or move out of the way.
There are 300 “mommas” this year – all scheduled for delivery in 90 days. But approximately 250 of those will come in the first 30 days. Yes –many are the gifts in December!!! Just this past Saturday – 10 were born in one day in one pasture. All were born healthy – jumping – bucking in a matter of just hours – it looked like the playground at your local Mother’s Day Out. Within days they are running around – by definition they are “high tailing” it – because they speed around with their little tails curved over the back – up in the air. Makes us smile to see them so healthy and full of energy. Of course, it makes their mothers crazy – some try to keep up – chase after them – wanting to keep them close (sound familiar?). But each of these babies have their own personalities – independence –rebellious spirit (again – sound familiar?). Every mother can relate. Cows even give their babies “the look” when they are upset – bawl loudly at them when they are angry – or give them soft little loving nudges. Overall they are good mothers – loving, caring, attentive mothers.
We are in every pasture every day to see that the cows are delivering without difficulty. But difficulties do arise. When we see a cow in labor – we know she should have the baby within the hour – a heifer takes a little longer – but this year we are only dealing with cows. The cow will usually go off by herself – she will be up and down – until she lays down and delivers – usually without any assistance from us. But as my vet explains – with this many mothers in the “maternity ward” at one time – there will be issues. We have already had one breech – the calf entering the world backwards – which can’t happen without assistance. In this case, we called one of the cowboys – he roped the cow – and delivered the baby. Mom and baby are doing well!! If it is more difficult – the vet is called. And if you are not a praying person – ranching is probably not for you. God is so amazing – prayers are answered.We agonize over the problems but there is such a small percentage of problems vs. the happy, healthy deliveries.
When I worked in retail in December – the phone would ring – and my husband would laugh and say “no, she is not here right now, but you can find HER in fine department stores everywhere.” Now – my friends tell me that my phone rings and rings – because at all hours of the day and night you still can’t find me at home in December – but you can find me in a pasture somewhere watching God’s magnificent work of creation being delivered into the world. Believe me when I tell you – they are always going to pick the coldest, wettest night to deliver that baby. I never thought I would be saying this – but yes – Miss Scarlett – I do know how to birth them babies!!!