Just a day in the life of a Mom during calving season | TSLN.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Just a day in the life of a Mom during calving season

The first spring after we moved to this place came on the heels of a hard, cold winter. The cows had spent most of the winter humped up behind the windbreak, eating hay and staying warm. Consequently, the calves were rather on the jumbo order when calving finally came. I pulled every calf born here that spring and I was not set up for it.

My idea of a calving setup is a nice head catch they can’t choke down in; a long, handy gate to put them behind; and plenty of room to work around both, either afoot or on a horse. What I had here that spring of ’95 was a low-roofed little shed with one door going in and no windows. The walls were boarded up solid about four feet, impossible to climb and nowhere to go if you did. So, it was a little snug in that barn, especially with a few of the cows we had then. To top that off, I had to rope them and snub them to a post to do anything with them. It was not exactly paradise, for me or the cows, and it quickly became a very long spring.

During an early afternoon check, my young son and I found a cow calving and I could see by size of the feet that she was going to need help. My boy was just four years old, and though he tried to help every way he could, it was pretty scary having him in the middle of pulling a calf in that little barn.



I had to have him somewhere he was safe. The corral outside the barn wasn’t safe because there was a heifer with her new baby in there, and she was not very impressed with anyone handling her calf. She had been unimpressed with having it pulled too, so I was giving her plenty of room when I went in that corral. Still, she pawed the ground and shook her head at me every time she saw me.

Going against every good mothering instinct I had, I plopped my boy down in front of the TV, popped in his favorite movie and gave him a bunch of Cheerios to snack on. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t mess with anything in the house and that he would stay right there until I came back. He was really good about doing as I asked most of the time, but realistically, he was just four years old.



I hurried outside and brought the cow to the corral and into the barn with my horse. Then I went in, roped her, snubbed her, put a halter on her and tied her up where she could lay down if need be but not move around too much. Surprisingly, she was pretty nice about things, and after much straining by her and pulling by me and the calf puller, we had her big bull calf on the straw. I had to encourage him to take that first breath with a straw in his nose, then treated his navel and moved him around to where she wouldn’t step on him getting up.

Just as I was working the knot loose on the cow’s halter, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. I glanced over toward the door and, of all things, there was my little boy on his belly with his chin propped on his hands, watching the whole proceedings from under the barn door. I finished turning the cow loose, then hurried out of the barn, thinking all of the time about that snuffy heifer.

Naturally, I asked him what in the world he was doing out there when he was supposed to be in the house watching a movie. He explained that his movie had gotten over and I still hadn’t come back and he got scared that something had happened to me. Well, couldn’t fault the kid for his logic, as something sure could have happened to me.

I reminded him that I hadn’t wanted him in the corral with that heifer because she might think he was going to hurt her baby and might hurt him to keep that from happening. He replied, “I let her know that I wouldn’t hurt her baby.” Really? “Yep, I gave him a kiss on top of the head so she would know I liked him.”

My gray hair is natural. Started turning that color about the time he started to walk. Go figure.

The first spring after we moved to this place came on the heels of a hard, cold winter. The cows had spent most of the winter humped up behind the windbreak, eating hay and staying warm. Consequently, the calves were rather on the jumbo order when calving finally came. I pulled every calf born here that spring and I was not set up for it.

My idea of a calving setup is a nice head catch they can’t choke down in; a long, handy gate to put them behind; and plenty of room to work around both, either afoot or on a horse. What I had here that spring of ’95 was a low-roofed little shed with one door going in and no windows. The walls were boarded up solid about four feet, impossible to climb and nowhere to go if you did. So, it was a little snug in that barn, especially with a few of the cows we had then. To top that off, I had to rope them and snub them to a post to do anything with them. It was not exactly paradise, for me or the cows, and it quickly became a very long spring.

During an early afternoon check, my young son and I found a cow calving and I could see by size of the feet that she was going to need help. My boy was just four years old, and though he tried to help every way he could, it was pretty scary having him in the middle of pulling a calf in that little barn.

I had to have him somewhere he was safe. The corral outside the barn wasn’t safe because there was a heifer with her new baby in there, and she was not very impressed with anyone handling her calf. She had been unimpressed with having it pulled too, so I was giving her plenty of room when I went in that corral. Still, she pawed the ground and shook her head at me every time she saw me.

Going against every good mothering instinct I had, I plopped my boy down in front of the TV, popped in his favorite movie and gave him a bunch of Cheerios to snack on. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t mess with anything in the house and that he would stay right there until I came back. He was really good about doing as I asked most of the time, but realistically, he was just four years old.

I hurried outside and brought the cow to the corral and into the barn with my horse. Then I went in, roped her, snubbed her, put a halter on her and tied her up where she could lay down if need be but not move around too much. Surprisingly, she was pretty nice about things, and after much straining by her and pulling by me and the calf puller, we had her big bull calf on the straw. I had to encourage him to take that first breath with a straw in his nose, then treated his navel and moved him around to where she wouldn’t step on him getting up.

Just as I was working the knot loose on the cow’s halter, I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye. I glanced over toward the door and, of all things, there was my little boy on his belly with his chin propped on his hands, watching the whole proceedings from under the barn door. I finished turning the cow loose, then hurried out of the barn, thinking all of the time about that snuffy heifer.

Naturally, I asked him what in the world he was doing out there when he was supposed to be in the house watching a movie. He explained that his movie had gotten over and I still hadn’t come back and he got scared that something had happened to me. Well, couldn’t fault the kid for his logic, as something sure could have happened to me.

I reminded him that I hadn’t wanted him in the corral with that heifer because she might think he was going to hurt her baby and might hurt him to keep that from happening. He replied, “I let her know that I wouldn’t hurt her baby.” Really? “Yep, I gave him a kiss on top of the head so she would know I liked him.”

My gray hair is natural. Started turning that color about the time he started to walk. Go figure.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User



( function ( body ) { 'use strict'; body.className = body.className.replace( /\btribe-no-js\b/, 'tribe-js' ); } )( document.body );