I have been hearing the rumblings that calving season is upon us, but have been trying to ignore them. Well, not trying to ignore them, just choosing to ignore them. I mean, it's not February, when calving should begin, so I have time to continue on my merry way, right?
Today is no school, thanks to MLK day, and in honor of this day, my school aged kiddo was up at dawn and dressed for chores. The morning chores began as usual, but as the rest of the kid clan and I were still pajama-clad and enjoying waffles, my farm girl and Farmer Joe were pulling the first calf.
We really know how to start a season, don't we? One cannot just walk out to the calving barn, or check the heifer that Joe thought would calve first and have an easy delivery. Nah. We out here like to do things the hard way from the get-go.
However, Anna was unphazed by the calf pulling, rather, was super excited because this heifer calf is hers. This is an exciting time, no doubt, but the feelings of ownership, responsibility and excitement that accompany just the sheer miracle of life that will be occurring at a high rate around here trumps the difficult first delivery.
Anna is in heaven.
She has her calving record book safely tucked in her purple chore coat pocket, recording the number of her new charge in the first line. She has already been down to check to see if the little calf had nursed, explaining to me at lunch today how Dad taught the little girl how to suck using his finger, and even correctly used the noun, "teat."
(My hope is that she continues to be no-nonsense about the word teat, and doesn't become "that kid" on the playground!)
Anyway, life is exciting around here. Joe will now join me in the up-all-night club, as he will need to step out and check mamas and babies every couple of hours, regardless of the time of day. Even though this is a labor intensive (literally and figuratively) time, this is the culmination of carefully calculated breeding matches. This is harvest, beef cattle style.
I just hope that we have knocked out the difficult births with this first one, and the rest are smooth sailing!