Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Day Off On The Farm

baby calf

You may be questioning the photo above with the title of this post, but I assure you they do go together. Saturday afternoon was supposed to be my day off. Maybe a dairy farmer never has a day off of the farm unless they are too far away to come back home. Just like parents can't stop taking care of their children, farmers have a hard time neglecting their animals.

We had been watching 167 closely for about two weeks awaiting her calving. On Saturday morning she still showed no signs, however come the afternoon the process had begun. When she had not finished on her own a while later our hired hand came to get some help.

The good news was the calf was halfway out, but this little bull had big hips and the cow could just not push him on out. We tied a couple of twine strings to his front legs and barely pulled as the cow started a contraction and the calf practically fell out on his own.

The bad news was the cow didn't want to get up. She was tired and worn out from her ordeal. To give her a boost and to prevent the onset of milk fever we decided to administer some calcium to the cow. 167 hopped up quickly after this and boy was I relieved.

The weather forecast called for rain that night so we moved the cow and calf out of the maternity field and into the barn lot. There she would have easy access to shelter, hay, and water. After grabbing a couple mouth fulls of hay, 167 began licking her calf off. Soon enough he was up and nursing his mother like a good calf should.

That afternoon off may not have been a trip to the movies or going out to town for a bite to eat, but it still had a happy ending for this dairy farmer.


  1. I need to write a blog post about the first time I went to a dairy... a cow went down and calcium helped get her back on her feet too!

    1. I would love to read about it! This cow and calf are doing great.