I think I must have been a bear in a past life. When it comes to Winter… all I wanna do is dig a hole – make a nest – crawl inside – and wait it out!
It’s been a life here at our place. Stuff happens. And you have to get ready and be prepared months in advance. And this is one of the big events we’ve had on our list!
He was born on January 28th, around 3:05pm. He came a few days early. He is sired by our Bull – FF Freedom’s Artist. His Dam is N40’s Anna Maria. Both Dam and Sire are tested and certified for A2/A2 milk – which makes this little guy obligate A2/A2 beta-casein protein in milk.
This has been another batch of those ‘firsts’ for us. This is our first experience with winter calving. I’ve already learned that I’m not such a fan. But then – I’d bet I can count the number of any happy fans of winter calving on one hand.
Anna is a First-Time Heifer. There is always that moment when you have no choice but to find out if you have an Angel – or – one of Satan’s Wives for a Cow that’s just had a calf. We got so lucky. To begin with – she had a ‘daytime baby’ for us.
But Anna has been absolutely – Wonderful! She’s had no problem with allowing us to handle Amos. We’re able to come inside her stall to do whatever. We had no trouble getting her to come out of the stall for Alfalfa cubes – while we went inside to give the calf his vaccines and such. She even allows us to come in and love on him while he’s laying down.
The only trouble we have had – was when the winds picked up near 20mph after they’d been outside for about an hour. Dwayne was able to pick up the calf and carry him into the barn. I had to go get a lead-rope to get her to go back inside the barn. But I think she’ll do better next time!
Her udder has had our attention. Every Heifer / Cow is different. Every pregnancy will be different – in one way or another. Udders will show up and develop at their own unique window of time and fashion. Naturally – there are certain critical points of construction you must expect.
But no cow is bred into a perfect Popsicle mold. Okay? And no… Anna’s udder has not shown up on stage – on cue – and costumed like some perfect Debutante. Her udder did not actually begin to fill up until after the calf was here.
Amos is having to learn that she wants him to eat from all 4 quarters. We’ve been watching her rear left quarter. It’s behaving like the runt in the litter. But he’s been after the teat on that quarter. And I’m seeing a lot of improvement already. I believe all 4 quarters will become 4 Late Bloomers that will glow with beauty – in no time at all. I’m not worried.
We must all remember – Mom and Calf are newbies. The ‘equipment‘ is all brand new. And Baby isn’t requiring The Full Monte at this time. But considering his personality – his alertness – his immediate vocal talents – and his racing to stand up and jump on that first teat within 10 minutes after being born… I’d say that udder shall be beaming within a month!
I know one thing – for a fact. The A2/A2 beta-casein protein coming from those teats – I’m sure the butter and the whipped cream will taste just as delicious as it would coming from what others like to shove in your face as being a picture-perfect udder! The udder does not have that appearance of having something tied around the top of it with intentions of pinching it off the Dam! The attachments are well intact and very strong. 😉
I am not worried. And I am not gonna worry!
Anna welcomed me into the stall to brush her down and clean her tail last night. I think she was so ready for that. She really enjoyed her brushings during the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
We were a bit worried and kept watch of her backside – due to the high tail-base in her composition. I made sure to keep all the discharge and trash combed and washed out of her tail on a daily basis. I trimmed her tail as soon as she had her first day of discharge. If you have a small herd – you can never go overboard with doing your best to prevent bacterial infections that can afflict both Dam and Calf. The high position of her tail base is cause for a little extra care.
The Angel we’ve been blessed to have in our lives is well worth every bit of it! Some wouldn’t bother. Some would just throw her into a freezer – primarily because so many people won’t spend their money on canned vegetables with dents in the cans. (Ya’ get that?) I’m just much deeper than that.
I’ve got the time. I’m gonna take the time to handle it. I will keep this sweetheart in our herd – before I keep a cookie-cutter perfect Debutante with the personality of one of The Devil’s Wives!
Besides… take a look at this baby. His tail is just fine! Oh… and btw… we figured out the funny standing that Anna’s doing in this video. She’s giving him room to reach the teats!