This blog comes with a bit of a warning about graphic photos. If you have had a child, then you will know about it. It’s a natural process, and one that I think is important for everyone, including children to observe.
I’m a city-slicker myself, but I love the countryside and am loving any time I can get on farms and hope to instil the love of nature in my children and help them to learn about life from birth to death.
A friend of mine has a herd of organic Aberdeen Angus cattle. He invited us to take the children out last summer to see the cattle and two pygmy goats next door. We all had a great time!
Back before Christmas he asked if we’d be interested in seeing a calf coming into the world. Calving season started about two weeks ago for him, including a set of unexpected twins. Hubby is on a long weekend at the moment and so we’ve been waiting for ‘the phone call’, as it takes about an hour from the time the feet can be seen to the calf being born. I was in a First Aid course for six hours yesterday, and was hoping it wouldn’t be then.
Today Jimmy stopped by our house on his tractor (much to the amusement of the wee ones) to say a couple of calves had been born, but it had happened in the short time between him checking on them, so he hadn’t seen the births himself. With dozens more yet to happen over the next several weeks, we were still hopeful one would appear on a weekend. Not an hour later the phone rang and there was a calf on the way! So we put ourselves together as quickly as we could and made the drive up. We made it just in time!
The Veterinarian was there on another matter so was able to assist in the birth. The labour had been tough so the calf needed a little help getting out so ropes were tied to its legs.
This wasn’t very successful so they needed to use a calf-jack to help the calf out. This looked painful from our perspective, but it did the trick quickly. The calf came out and then the Mom and Baby were left to get to know each other.
The Mother Cow began to clean her baby off by licking it, which also stimulates the circulation of the calf.
We didn’t see the calf take its first steps as we left Mom and Baby to bond in peace.
The calf’s head and tongue were swollen due to the length of the labour, so will have to be watched carefully over the next couple of days to ensure it will be able to drink from its mother.
I’ll get an update tomorrow night, which I’m looking forward to. Tristan is so tuckered out from the experience he has fallen asleep on the sofa!
It was a wonderful experience as it was a first for all of us to see in person. We may yet see another, as Jimmy says a Caesarean Section is fascinating to see….watch this blog to find out more!
If you are interested in life-cycles, click through to learn about our little froggie friends:
Frog Eggs, Emergence of the Tadpoles, Froglets, and Freedom. Or see our Spring ideas page for more activities.