Birth on the Farm

waiting, waiting, waiting…

My daughter Grace is a very motivated fourteen year old 4-H kid.  At the age of twelve she took out a youth loan, bought three heifers, a show cow and a hydroponic fodder system to feed her dairy herd.  I have a mid-mini Jersey bull.  Her plan was not to raise replacement heifers that would sell real well and go to a big dairy farm and produce lots of milk.  She is much more community minded.  She wanted to breed her heifers to the mid- mini bull and sell them to homestead farmers who would want a smaller cow that could be managed by a family.  She has her big show cow and breeds her to show stock.  That’s wise, it’s how she’s paying back the loan.   So far the Jersey bull has given her two heifers. Very nice. These heifers will be having babies before she goes to college and help pay for room and board. It’s a very good plan and her dad and I are very supportive. Very.

Having babies on the farm is always exciting when it finally happens.  The waiting on the other hand, not so much.  We had Molly in with the bull and witnessed some activity that would have set a due date of late August.  It’s not August!  We have been patiently ( well maybe not) waiting ever since.  Since this is Molly’s first, we weren’t quite sure how it would go.  Molly’s friend Dew Drop has coached her along the whole time.  Every so often Dew would go rest her head on Molly’s belly and “listen” to the baby.  As the time got closer this occurred

at more frequent intervals. A few days ago, Dew Drop started giving Molly a bath, not just her face.  I figured she was getting closer.  Yesterday Dew would not leave her side.  This morning the dogs were barking -at three am. I went out to check and Molly was laying down, but so was Dew, so I went back to bed.  In a few minutes, Jack , the lab mix started to cry and make a really strange noise.  I went back downstairs and they all started barking.  I ran up and told Grace she was having a calf.  Grace shot up and was out in a flash.  We got out there to find Molly trying to push the calf out up against a log.  Silly cow.  We moved the log and checked the head.  I kid you not, this calf must have been wanting to get out. She hooked her hoof around a sapling and pulled herself out!  Grace and I just shook our heads and laughed.  She’ll be a feisty one!

So baby is out and Molly is just laying there wide eyed on her side with her legs straight out.  She was sort of wedged between some small trees and needed some coaxing.  Grace started fussing with her and I went to get Reluctant Farmer.  I told him we might need some help getting the cow up.  Moaned, groaned and crawled out of bed.  What a good dad!

Back outside the air is cool, baby is being rubbed down with towels and Molly is still looking wide eyed.  Dew comes over and licks her face. Grace takes her by the halter and Reluctant Farmer helps her upright.  The wide eyed look goes away and she turns to see the source of the fuss.  Then there is a soft coo as she lays eyes on her beautiful baby girl.

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