Monday, August 3, 2015

It's A Girl (Again!)

I was picking up rocks, from small to huge, from the barnyard and hauling them in the tractor bucket across the south field to a giant rock pile. I was on my way across the field when I looked to the right and saw, under a tree, this ugly, wet space alien:

It was a baby calf, Scarlett's second since she arrived here. The wet little thing was trying to stand, but not doing very well:

Rosella came over to investigate while Scarlett licked her baby and encouraged it to stand:

Finally on its feet, I looked carefully and decided it likely was a bull calf:

I finished the rock hauling and went back inside the house for a few hours. I came out later and found Scarlett and the new baby by the fence along the gravel road. I quickly turned off the electricity lest the wobbly baby fall against it:

Scarlett still had afterbirth hanging out of her back end, but she'd only given birth a few hours ago, so I didn't worry:

The baby stood up, wobbled, and tried to investigate its new world:

Ever the attentive mother, Scarlett followed it:

The baby turned its back toward me and lifted its tail. That's when I realized it was a heifer calf, not a bull calf. It's not as immediately obvious with a newborn calf as you might think. The best way seems to be to look at the bare patch under the tail. A newborn bull calf has one hole, which looks like a period. A heifer calf has two holes, which look like an inverted exclamation mark. Yep, she was a heifer:

I named her Pearl: and let her sleep, undisturbed, in the grass:

The other cattle came over to investigate every so often - especially Rosella (on the left). She is inquisitive and gets in the middle of everything. This is the exact spot in which Rosella was born (to the same mother) one year ago. This picture will illustrate how she's grown in twelve months:

I walked out into the far end of the south field the next morning. Scarlett and Pearl were doing well except that Scarlett still hadn't passed the afterbirth. I searched the internet and asked a neighboring dairy farmer what I should do. The answer was that I should leave her alone, even if it takes a week, only calling the vet if she becomes ill. So now my five cows have had five calves this year, four of them heifer calves and all sired by a famous bull. I hope to sell them when they are six months old:

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