The Calm Rancher

I have always wanted to see a calf be born, and I finally got the chance! (You’ll have to deal with amateur cell phone pictures since I was holding William and left picture duty to Elliana or tried to taking them with one hand while bouncing a baby.)

Our main purpose for the outing to my in-laws’ (a.k.a. the local petting zoo) was to see the new lambs. When we arrived two heifers were almost ready to have their babies, so we piled three adults and six kids into a pickup and went to check things out. Don’t fret – we didn’t have far to go since they keep these first time mamas close to the house.heifer calving

See those hooves on the way out? We watched this heifer for over a half hour. She was working hard but not making progress. After a little bit, we did see the calves pink tongue sticking out, but then it turned purple and we called for Darin to come. He calmly walked behind her and guided her into the barn.calving

Imagine yourself in this situation. I would’ve been like a frantic, spastic, crazy woman (like I am any time all of us are trying to go somewhere). Darin acted like he was going for a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park. He’s clearly done this more than once.

Katie, our tour guide, said if the cow is off by herself, Darin can sometimes just walk up behind and try pulling the calf out right there, a hefty tug is all that’s needed. This one wasn’t off by herself and she needed more than a little pull.Heifer in barnSomehow he got her with her head in the contraption that doesn’t let her back out. Please notice the nice long gloves Darin put on before you look at the next picture.

Since the hooves were out and the head right next to them, Darin tried to push it back in to see if it would help if more leg could come out before the head. That’s at least how I understood it. Ask a real veterinarian or rancher for clarity.Dirtiest Jobs

Then he tried just pulling with his hands as hard as he could. This is where Wyatt determined that he would not become a veterinarian and decided to go check out the sheep.hand pulling a calfPulling by hand didn’t work, so Darin (still as calm as can be) went and got the chain contraption. He attached the chain to the calf hoof and to a lever. Physics at work. calf pulling contraption

He cranked the lever and the calf came on out.

It didn’t start crying like we would expect a human new baby to do, but it was fine. Darin tickled its nose with some straw to make sure to get it breathing. tickling calf's nose with strawHe moved the calf and its mom into stall into the barn to make sure the new mama would take care of her calf before sending them back out with the rest of the heifers. I had to go take care of my hungry baby so I didn’t get to stick around to see it standing up and dried off. What I did get to see what rather impressive!

If you have questions, let me know and I’ll find the answers.

As for pictures of sheep…

sheep selfie


Hold You Over

I must follow up my last post by directing you to a reminder to better consider our blessings. It’s a quick read that will challenge you in a good way.

I’ve been trying to get an exciting calving post done, but life keeps happening. Here are a couple of animal pictures to hold you white face calf

A fainting goat - just looking at him makes me chuckle

A fainting goat – just looking at him makes me chuckle.

Liza likes her earrings.

Liza likes her earrings.


Good Bye Summer!

Farm Education:
This poor calf apparently hasn’t learned that he only eats plants. I thought he would spit it out but he got the whole thing in his mouth. I meant to ask Brad when I got home from my walk if we should contact it’s owner and let them know their calf ate a big piece of plastic, but I forgot. It wasn’t lying there dead when I went past today.

Don't Litter! Would you like a huge plastic bag on your plate?

Don’t Litter! Would you like a huge plastic bag on your plate?


What I’m Thinking:
Maybe my attitude would’ve been better this summer if I would’ve read this excellent post at the beginning of it. I had high hopes going into the season of reading, getting the house organized, enjoying being home, you know, all those things you hope going into the summer when you’re an educator. I have adjusted expectations for next summer and a good reminder that I just need to do what I can to enjoy the current season.

That said, I’m one burned out mother at the moment and am looking forward to working again this coming school year. I can’t wait to be able to have a list of things to do that I can actually accomplish in a reasonable amount of time.

Books:A Dolphin WishThe little reading I did get done this summer was this book because I had requested it from Booklook Bloggers and needed to review it like I said I would. I requested A Dolphin Wish by Natalie Grant (yes, the singer) because I thought Elliana might like to read it. She started it and didn’t finish, so much for her reviewing it for me! At halfway through the book, I didn’t really want to finish it either. At this stage in my life if I’m going to be reading it’s going to have to be worth my time. I haven’t read a lot of young girl chapter books, but this didn’t move fast enough for me. I can understand why Elliana got stalled out reading it too.

A Dolphin Wish is a mystery and is about a family on vacation in California. The family is one a lot like Natalie Grant’s – three girls, two of which are twins, and the mom is a famous singer. The majority of the story tells about their time at an amusement park. At the middle of the book you know what the mystery is that they’re trying to solve but you don’t have much of an idea as to how they’re going to go about solving the mystery.

Grant writes very descriptively and gives a lot of details about each activity the family is doing. Positive Christian ideals, such as praying and being kind to your siblings, are naturally built in to the story. Grant also uses some words that would be good vocabulary builders for children, like bungalow and porthole.

Thank you to Booklook Bloggers for sending me this book to review for free. I’m sorry it took me so long to get a review posted!

Taking Down a Calf

While my blooming daffodils are being frozen to death, I’ll post some pictures from branding because it was a nice, sunny, spring day.

Branding can be done in many different ways. Some push the calves through a shoot, some rope them and some just corral them and take them down by hand.

Click the first picture then scroll through them quickly to make it almost like a movie. Almost but not really close at all.

And with that, I’ve reached the point where I can no longer post pictures unless I want to pay wordpress. What to do? Grrr.