Bitter Cold

February 6, 2014

I had a title for this post all written out in my head.  It was going to be ‘A Calf in the Kitchen’.  Our Friend the Farmer called me in the morning with a ‘Calf situation’.  He had a weak calf, 4 days old that was still struggling and not doing well in the cold.  (Did I mention it is bitter cold here with the emphasis on bitter!)  Our Friend the Farmer has about 20 newborn calves, 70 cows that are bred and a lot on his plate right now with the cold (bitter cold).

“Are you up for a calf?”

“Yes, of course!”

“He’s weak.  Do you want to come look at him?”

“I don’t need to come look at him, I’ll be late for work, besides he needs me.”  (Insert Farmer chuckle here)

“Okay, we’ll get him set up at your place at lunch…he’ll need to warm up..”

So I raced home at lunch to pull out my equipment, calf replacement formula and milk bottle, from my days with Chance.cowpicmThen we needed to create a warm place for the calf, where he could also stand up and move around but without pooping all over the floor.  My Girl and I drug in from the work shop a large wooden box, which certainly has been built for this purpose and used more than a few times.  We set it up in the kitchen and My Girl was ready to ‘calf sit’ once I went back to work for the afternoon.kitpicmShe might still have a lot more city and a lot less country in her, as she had visions of watching TV with the calf curled up beside her on the couch….still she was my ready and willing aide.  Except, the little one did not make it and we were sad…and she reminded me of Our Friend the Farmer’s famous words…”Well, they just don’t all make it”.

This extreme bitter cold will be with us for a day or two more and you cow lovers may be wondering how our other cows are doing?  Agnes although, not completely tame, is very smart!  She has chosen to make the old pig sty/stall her home, where there are 4 walls and a bed of straw.  She is even ‘house broken’, coming out of the stall to poop.agnes4picm….and should there be another bottle calf that needs me… I am ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Billy Boy

    Always enjoyed the calving during my time on the farm and always sad when one “didn’t make it”. But on the whole far more do “make it”. I would have loved to see Laura curled up on the sofa with a calf. Brings back memories of Tyrell’s Farm with chicks in a box on top of the old valve radio to keep them warm and the orphan kid (goat not human!) that mum took pity on until it ate a cushion. Insert Bad British Word – even from mum.

    • Ellen

      Haha, thanks Bill, I love hearing your stories! If you see the picture of Laura and the box, look at the counter. That ‘ice chest’ is an incubator your brother built from stuff laying about. We don’t know if the chicks will make it, as we lost power one night for 4 hours…I’ll post about it soon!

  • Sorry to hear that Number 3 didn’t make it. I sure like the way you’re building your herd!

    • Ellen

      I am keeping the big box nearby…there is a lot of calving left to do!

  • I just found your blog and am really enjoying it. We live in Sumner, WA now – used to own 5 acres in Ellensburg out on Badger Pocket road, but in the end we decided to sell it as it’s not time for us to retire yet. Just bought tickets for the rodeo and are so looking forward to it!

    • Ellen

      Thank you. Glad to have you join us!

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