When I walk down to the farm every morning, it is always with a yawn, a smile, and bated breath - I love my quiet, foggy mornings on the farm, but when you care for so many critters, its not unusual for something or someone to be amiss.
Goats aren't running down the driveway? - great. Pigs are still asleep - good; much easier to feed them that way. Make sure the cows haven't wandered into the neighbor's alfalfa field - phew, I don't have the energy to chase them around this morning. So far so good.
Climb up in the hay loft to grab a bale for the heifers. Check on the bantam hen and her newly hatched chicks. Peek down on the cows' water tub to make sure they didn't pull the float out -
WHAT IS THAT?
Race down the ladder, climb the gate, run to the fluffy ball of black fur on the ground....
Hi cutie, where did you come from? Certainly not from one of our cows. We only breed in the summer. Our calves are only born in the spring.
In runs Jane, udders full of milk. MOOOOOO she says - step away from the fluff ball. -moo- says the fluff ball. What do we do, say the farmers. He's dry. He can stand. Has he nursed? It's too cold for a calf, bring him inside. No no, he's better off with his mom. Put a jacket on him and back out to mom he goes.
The first moments between a cow and her calf are incredibly tender. I cry (and John laughs at me) every time I witness a new mother softly cooing to her baby.
Hello, I'm your mom. When you hear this moo, and only this moo, come to me. I will feed you. I will clean you. I will protect you. And when I hear your moo, I will run acres, through our herd and fence lines if I have to, to get to you.
The bull let himself out of his paddock a few times over the winter.
It's November 13 - this fluff ball must have been conceived around Valentine's day.
I'll call you Valentino.
Real food enthusiast following nature's template