Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Last Sunday

  

Dawn breaks early these midsummer days, and the light comes creeping round the edges of the blinds, waking us around 4 am. On Sunday I lay dozing on and off, until the thought of an early cup of tea became too strong to resist. Peering out of the window, I noticed Celia, our heavily pregnant cow, pacing around agitatedly, tail swishing back and forth. It was time. I watched for a while, mug of tea in one hand, binoculars in the other, until I was sure.


It was time to waken the Crofter, who spent the first hour of Father's Day watching a labouring Dexter cow from the bedroom window. But there were concerns, and we headed out to the field for a closer look.



The calf's head and one foot were out - the normal presentation is nose and two front feet first. We were going to have to assist her. We called on one of our neighbours who came right away. "I knew when I heard the gate creaking what it would be" he said.  Celia was distressed. She is not the friendliest of our herd, and likes to use her head as a weapon, so it was difficult. We managed to lasso her and get her into a pen and tie her head to the fence. It was obvious that the calf's head was stuck, and it was struggling. We tried to push it back in and bring the other leg out, but it became clear that we would have to pull the calf out.
We had used both our ropes in securing Celia, so in the heat of the moment, John used his belt to do the job. It was a hard pull, and took the two men straining with all their might, but then it was over.


The poor calf lay flat and lifeless -  a fine looking bull calf. We worked on him, trying to rouse him and get him to breathe. John was able to feel a strong heartbeat, however, and Celia was quick to get to work on him too. Slowly he began to respond...


A few minutes later, although it seemed so long, he was up on his feet and soon suckling. I felt such relief and amazement at the fragility and resilience of this life.  We trooped back up to the kitchen to clean up and for some much needed tea and toast.


He is a beautiful Dexter steer calf - full brother of Gretel, our year old heifer. There is (cough, cough) a slight dispute over the choice of a name, but we are glad to welcome him to the Croft. He is none the worse for his difficult entry to the world, and is growing stronger and more handsome all the time.








31 comments:

  1. What a wonderful ending to a scary beginning! He is just beautiful!

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  2. Welcome to the world beautiful calf x

    Glad to hear all was well, but wow what a learning experience this croft life is for you all.

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  3. So incredible to witness--I'm very glad he made it through that difficult journey. I remember the first calf birth I saw, blue tongue sticking forward above two little feet. And everything okay in the end. So very incredible.

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  4. I bet your name is better, just saying :) Glad all went well and you have a new member to the farm!

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    1. You are right, Karen! I think it will win ;) xx

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  5. this was the best post I enjoyed every word!!

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  6. I had my heart in my mouth while I was reading this post! Glad he's doing fine now, what a beauty! xx Can't wait to hear your name for him!

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  7. Lovely young chap. Will he go on to be a dad?

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    1. We are keeping our options open, Jill. We dont really have room to keep a full time bull,and there are lots o fother complications that could arise, but he is a beauty ...

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  8. My inexperienced city eyes are so thankful for this post. You've shown us a wonderful morning with a very fine finish.

    Many thanks, and best wishes to all involved.

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  9. So glad all went well ... poor mum having to deliver an awkward one, must admit I winced when I saw the shot!

    xx

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    1. Yes - its a bit eye watering - poor Celia x

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  10. Wow, that's an interesting way to enter the world! Hope he continues to grown big and strong.

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  11. I was rather concerned with the pre-birth photos, but hurray for your joyful result. Congratulations!
    Wendy x

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  12. What a beautiful life tale! I eagerly await the grand naming of this handsome beast...

    **Thanks for the curly do-dad indentification. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

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  13. Amazing pictures - thank you for sharing!

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  14. Such a wonderful tale of life. I am so glad it all worked out, I was a little bit worried there for a minute.
    Like Debbie, I am excited to know his name.

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  15. Oh! He is amazingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing! Shouldn't he be named Hansel since he is Gretel's brother? :-)

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  16. Well done to all concerned especially Mum. A very handsome and strong looking calf.

    So enjoyed reading this "heart in the mouth" post.

    Susan

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  17. Yikes! what a way to start Father's Day! Remembering reading James Herriot's stories-pretty unbelievable to this city slicker! Thanks for sharing and yes, he is a handsome boy!

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  18. Isn't he gorgeous! So sleek and glossy. Congratulations!

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  19. What an incredible thing to witness..

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  20. What is it about cows that is so wonderful? They possibly have the sweetest faces ever and the calves....just so huggable. Glad everything worked out!

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  21. He is wonderful! So happy things turned out well!

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  22. What a handsome chap. Thank you for sharing that moment, not something I get to see to often in the city!

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  23. I was on the edge of my seat reading your story and was relieved the calf made it;) He is a fine specimen!

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  24. Wow, that's an amazing photo, and an amazing story. (I suppose it's an illustration of the fact that Life is amazing.) I was on the edge of my seat as well, and SO glad the little guy made it. Do let us know what his name turns out to be!

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  25. This is my first time visiting your blog via soule mama. I'm so glad your calf made it! Sounds like the mama's 'kangaroo care' helped. Were still pondering over a jersey cow or milk goats. Of course that homesteading journey always has time constraints, especially with small children and babies. I'm enjoying your blog and will be sure to follow!

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    1. Thank you :) I have found that the animals always know better than us.. x

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  26. Thank you all - I wondered if it was too graphic, but this is the stuff that goes on, and I wanted you all to share. So glad at the outcome xxx

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