2 weeks ago today we grew our herd to 4. We do not take it for granted that we have two healthy moms and two healthy calves and that we get to keep everyone. We are so fortunate and relieved that everyone is healthy and now I can finally sleep without worrying that something is going to happen in the middle of the night, or during a storm, during super hot days, etc.
On Sunday, June 18th, Loretta had baby June. We noticed the day before that Loretta’s bag (milk & udders) was getting to be pretty big so we assumed that she was getting close. Since we figured it would be happening in the next few days, we began to check on her every hour or two throughout the day. Anthony left for softball at about 2:45 and I went outside to water some plants. I looked down to the pasture where Loretta was last seen and I noticed her tail sticking straight out and that she was pacing a bit and mooing. I called Anthony and told him it seemed like it was about to happen, so he turned around and came back home. (Anyone who knows about his dedication to softball will recognize that it was somewhat of a Sophie’s Choice moment for him)
He ran down to take a look, ran back up to the house and grabbed his camera and came back down. He told me to go back up to the house to get the cookies I was baking out of the oven. I didn’t want to leave, but I also didn’t want to burn the house down so I ran up and took them out of the oven. When I came back outside, approximately 3 minutes later, Anthony yelled “She’s out!” I was so pissed. Missed it again!
Loretta immediately took charge and the other two girls came to join in a few minutes later. The whole process took less than 30 minutes and June has fit in with the herd nicely. It took a couple of hours for us to confirm that she was actually a girl and we then named her June in keeping with the theme of the first ladies of country music; naming her after June Carter-Cash. She looks so different from Dolly and I’m always worried that Dolly is bullying her, or taking milk away from her, or that she is just too skinny. Plus Dolly is so solid and June is built differently than her – she’s much taller and has a skinnier face. But they all seem to be happy and now it really seems like we’ve got the beginnings of a legit operation going on around here. Or maybe it will be legit once the new fencing is up and no one is escaping, giving me heart palpitations.
Here’s a video that sums it all up. Hope you love it as much as we do.
Today was the most exciting day that we’ve had on the farm, by far. We are the proud new parents of a heifer calf.
I was giving the girls some fresh water at about 1:00 this afternoon. I went up to the top of the barn and started painting. About 2 hours later, I looked out and noticed Loretta on the pasture, but Patsy wasn’t anywhere near her. That’s unusual, they are always close enough to each other where I can see both of them. So I hopped the fence and walked down to the lower part of the pasture where I had seen Patsy lying down a few hours earlier. As soon as I turned the corner, I saw Patsy and her new calf standing there. I couldn’t believe it and called Anthony immediately.
Meet Dolly, the newest member of the Lucky Break family.
We are so happy that this happened naturally and without us having to intervene. Our hearts are so full tonight; thank you to all of you who have been asking about Patsy and the girls. It means so much to us that our adventures are your adventures too.
Everyone looks healthy and Patsy is already a great Mom. She hasn’t left her calf’s side and has been busy cleaning her and mooing at her. She’s also pretty protective.
Loretta is protective too.
Dolly was trying to nurse right from the get-go, but Patsy wasn’t feeling it. We’re just hoping that tomorrow when we see them in the morning, the calf is nursing and all is well.
Today we got some of the best news ever – LORETTA IS PREGNANT! The vet had to come out to give the girls their vaccinations and we had a few questions to ask him, so it was the perfect time to get her checked. He said she is about 5-6 months along and may calve sometime in July. So that means that Barney is most likely not the daddy, so it was probably one of the bulls that she was hanging with next door after the AI didn’t work, early last fall. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Loretta is not getting kicked off the farm. Patsy is looking healthy and has about 3 more weeks until she calves.
To prepare for our first foray into calving, Anthony spent some time at the farm next door. He learned a lot and feels much more confident than he did a few weeks ago. I’m still somewhat of a wreck. I’m really hoping to wake up one morning and see a calf out in the pasture. That way I know everything worked the way it was supposed to and neither one of us had to intervene.
Anthony made a video documenting his experience next door with one the calves that needed some help coming into the world. THIS VIDEO IS EXTREMELY GRAPHIC – so watch at your own risk. It’s a heifer giving birth and it’s ALL out there. Watch if you’re interested, move along if this makes you nervous. Most of all, please wish us luck or whatever else you think we will need.