Monday, February 26, 2007

Will Wonders Never Cease?

I have been so crazy these last few weeks I'm not sure where my head is! We finally have closed the basketball season losing in the District finals on Friday. I hate to say it, but I'm so happy to have my weekends back! I started calving last week and have been averaging about 1 calf a day. I have two heifers (first year moms) that refuse to come in and have been getting up every few hours to drive out in the field and check on them at night. Two nights ago one snuck off though and had her baby. No problems, thank God, but I can't get her in to check if it's a bull or heifer and need to band if it's a bull (put a rubber band around his nuts to make him a steer). Oh well.

Also - Maverick has figured out how to climb fences. Sunday morning was spent trying to Maverick proof the kennel. So far so good, until he finds another corner to climb. I'm glad he's so smart and such a problem solver, but it's beginning to challenge me! And get expensive! He's such a good boy though and I had to hide in the house to get this picture. He waits until I'm gone, jumps up, grabs hold and climbs! I put some chicken wire across the top and he bounce off it a few times until he figured out he was screwed with that maneuver.

But, the real story for the weekend is how amazing animals really are. As mentioned, I'm at the height of calving and recently was up all night with a heifer who lost her baby. He seems to have been dead before birth and came head first, forcing me to catch her in a chute and try and get a leg to pull the calf. My neighbor finally ended up helping me at 4:30 in the morning (they were up calving too), and between the two of us managed to pull the calf. The heifer seems fine, but was a bit depressed at first and wouldn't leave her dead calf. A few days earlier this heifer's mother had had her third calf and was still in the paddock with all the expecting mothers. When I turned the heifer who had lost her calf out with the others, she immediately went over to her mother and started to nurse her little baby brother! Not only did her mom let her do this, but it seems they have teamed up in taking care of the little guy and are sharing him! Isn't it amazing how animals take care of their kids? Even when they are all grown up? I can think of a few people who could learn a few things from these 'dumb' animals.

I wish I had a better picture of all three of them. But they are really protective and want to eat me. This is the 'big momma"! And her daughter looks just like her with red patches over both eyes. The little guy is just too cute for words!

Also - Skiing is awesome this year with all the snow! Here I am braving some arctic weather for thigh deep powder with a few of my students and me with the other sponsor.

Anyway - thought I'd share!


Laura said...

Good luck with calving! I've only had to help pulling once and that was enough to last a life time for me!!!!

Rob & Melissa said...

Oh my gosh!!! Maverick looks like he could be my dog Quincy's brother. I would have thought that was my dog if I saw the picture (other than the fact that he's too chicken to climb a fence!). You didn't get your dog from Adopt-A-Pet in Michigan did you? I'll post a pic on our blog of Quincy tonight...or there might be some on there.

Rob & Melissa said...
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Danielle McLeod said...

Mav came from Kentucky and is half Coon-hound and half Boxer. He's a riot on a good day!

Kara said...

Maverick is awesome. I love that photo!!

My grandpa's neighbor just had a calf as well. Must be that time of the year :)

mel_fitz said...

I love the pics. That is sweet story about the cow--animals are so cool. I know how you feel about having an escape artist dog. Ours are pretty sneaky, too. They've been trying to dig their way out of their little doggie tent (I put them in there at night otherwise they stay up and play all night).