Monday, April 25, 2011

Introducing the Newest Member of the Herd!

I was worried I was going to have to write about  some of the other projects going on at Squash Blossom Farm, but, hooray! Lariat finally had her calf today and I get to write about that!

Meet  the newest member of our herd.
Lariat's official due date was last Wednesday.  She was getting huge and I was getting stressed.   I checked on her every hour or so. Yesterday she was so uncomfortable-looking, I was sure it was going to be the big day. But no.

This morning I just knew it was the day because when I went out to feed all the critters, LaFonda was waiting for breakfast as usual, but Lariat was not. She is not a cow to ever miss breakfast. Even when she saw me carry out the fresh hay and a bit of grain, she stayed in the far corner of the pasture.

I videotaped most of her labor, but will spare you because it is kind of slow and boring and also rather graphic. After a few hours, she was at the point where the bag of amniotic fluid was visible, as well as the hooves on the calves' feet. Happily, they were right side up, which meant the calf was in the proper position for an easy birth. However, the feet were huge - much bigger than I expected. And it seemed to be taking a long time.  I was worried the calf might be too big.  After almost an hour with no further progress, I decided to zip across the road to the dairy farm and get an experienced opinion. Mark and Lynn assured me everything was probably ok, but said that they would come in half an hour when they finished milking and bring chains in case they needed to pull the calf. I rushed back home, only to discover a wet, lumpy black puddle next to Lariat - her calf had  been born in those 5 minutes while I was across the road. It  is a heifer!
Within the hour,  she  was able to  get wobbily to her feet.
Soon she even figured out how to get breakfast:

Although she is black, both her parents are red, so perhaps her color will become more red.  We haven't  decided upon a name yet - suggestions welcome!

Our other cow, LaFonda, is officially due in 2 weeks. However, when Mark came to check on Lariat after milking and saw LaFonda, he remarked that she is pretty close; he bets it will be sooner  than 2 weeks.  The thrills continue!


Cheri said...

My shoes survived -- but even if they hadn't -- it would have been worth it to see your Lariat's sweet baby :) Sorry about the un-announced drop in, it was just impossible for me to drive by your place and not stop.

Joanna said...

So sweet. Newborns are always adorable.

jayne said...

You have already named her Puddle but wouldn't April be a fine name for your first spring calf?

Allison at Novice Life said...

Congratulations! How exciting!

Marie said...

enjoy! she's adorable and Lariat seems to be quite proud of her too!

The Luddite said...

great post - smiling hugely now!

Mary said...

From one Dexter lover to another, Congrats!!! I was wondering when she would calve. She might turn red. Their color changes and seems to not be set until they are a few years old. So if it's red you want, you might still get it. We have not had any of our babies yet and I'll post when they do.

How about Patience for a name?
God Bless

Becky said...

Congratulations!! She's adorable!
How about Posy? or Petunia?

katiegirl said...

Congratulations!!! Reminds me of the cartoon I saw with a farmer standing by a cow thinking, "I wish she'd calve so I could go to bed" and the thought bubble by the cow said, "I wish he'd go to bed so I can have my calf." LOL.

She's a beautiful little calf! My name idea:Dally- the term for wrapping the lariat around the saddle horn when a calf has been roped

NellJean said...

Love the pic where she's just getting up on wobbly legs. We are too old to run cows any more. I miss them.

DreamRiver Farm said...

Congrats, Larriette sure seems content and happy with the baby. Good looking little heifer!!!

Donia said...

Like katiegirl, I was thinking of a name lariat related. I thought of Lasso, and then used a thesaurus and saw Riata. I thought that was a cute name, and it is all but one of the letters of Lariat's name rearranged!