I hope everyone had a very Happy Easter, including a dinner filled with delicious foods produced by American farmers. We celebrated Easter with our families on Saturday and decided to stay home on Sunday. Turns out that was a wise decision!
On Sunday morning we worked quickly to finish chores, attended Easter Sunday Mass, grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the farm to mix the 2nd batch of TMR for the afternoon (those cows sure do eat!). Upon returning to the farm, it turns out the Easter Bunny left us a little surprise....a new baby heifer calf!!!! My cow Judas was 5 days over due, which usually means that we will be getting a bull calf (heifers usually come early). Judas was resting contently on the bedded pack of corn straw in the cow yard. Next to her was her very beautiful, dry and clean heifer calf, whom we named "Jelly Beans". She's such a blessing, especially since we had 3 bull calves in a row, as heifer calves are the future of our herd in the next years. Jelly Beans had over 10 pints of colostrum on Sunday, she's got an aggressive appetite!
Today we were blessed with another heifer! Theresa Marie, twin sister to Theresa Ann, delivered another beautiful heifer calf, whom I named Theresa May. Theresa May drank about 8 pints of colostrum within 1 hour of being born, she too has an aggressive appetite. A good appetite helps to develop a good immune system. A fun story about Theresa Marie though....
On the night of May 17th, 2008 our great cow Terry started calving. We finished up chores that night and returned to the dry cow yard to check on Terry. She had successfully delivered a beautiful heifer calf who I named Theresa Ann. We moved Terry to the new barn and we moved the calf to the calf barn. When we got Terry to the barn we put her in the hospital pen, where she had access to feed and water, as well as clean, well bedded pen. We watched her for a little while to make sure that she was doing well-we do this for all fresh cows. We noticed that she was pushing awful hard for just having a calf. We wondered if she was trying to hurt herself, so we chased her out of the pen and into an area where we could better examine her. Jon reached in to find another calf!!!!! We worked quickly to pull the 2nd calf out, she was backwards....as we pulled her out, rear legs first, we knew something wasn't right. Once she was out, we discovered that she was not breathing!!!! Jon immediately started giving her mouth to mouth, while I worked on chest compressions. It's a rough technique, but our version of Cow CPR has worked more than once. We worked for about 20-30 minutes. This calf was struggling to breathe, but with each compression and breath she began to get the "light back into her eyes". Meanwhile Terry was trying to help us by licking her calf off....assisting in stimulating the calf. We administered a shot of steroids to reduce the potential swelling in her brain. I named the calf Theresa Marie, as she was a miracle to be breathing, and over night I prayed that she would still be alive in the morning. We moved Terry and Theresa Marie back into the pen, where Terry continued to lick the calf. In the morning Theresa Marie was ALIVE!!! She was hiding in the corner of the barn behind a tractor!!!! We carry the story of Theresa Marie's miracle with us all of the time, as sometimes Cow CPR works....and the fact that Theresa Marie had a heifer today, makes the miracle almost 2 years ago, all the sweeter! Thank you God for the blessing that is Theresa Marie! =)