Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
It snowed, snowed, and then snowed some more.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Good With The Bad...

I have been told that I need to be tougher to be able to handle all that comes with this life style. I don't really agree with this statement, I don't ever want to get to the point that it doesn't bother me when something or someone dies. This month has really been a tough one for me, and just when I thought I had 'put things behind me', this morning it all came right back to the surface.

Walking the heifers to the corrals with Rusty and Button.
A few weeks ago we were coming home from Vernal, I was text messaging my friend from Kansas catching up on all the latest gossip then Roger said 'Oh no!' We came up on an accident, it was very bad and where it was at we didn't have any phone service. Although we did our best, along with the other 5 men that stopped to help, there was nothing that we could do for the gal that was hurt the most, and all we could do for the other gal was try to keep her calm and warm. There are so many more details that I can't yet talk about yet, but the whole thing really took the wind out of my sail for quite a while, and like I said just when I thought I had 'put it behind me', this morning brought back the sights, smells and sounds of a mess that was out of my control.

Last night Roger and I went out to check the heifers around 11 pm. I knew that heifer # 40 was ready to calf, she just had that look. So got up and went back out at 1:30 am to check her again. Now for the life of me I can't figure out why after being out here for over 30 years, my dad hasn't modernized this place one bit, no lights, no heat, and not a clean place to calf these heifers at. So this is where you will have to use your imagination to put this picture together, I am just going to tell it the way it really happens.

Looking at backsides!!
I see the heifer laying on her side pushing, the feet are out but no head. A calf comes with the front feet and the head will be laying on the legs just below the knees, if you see feet without the head then you push the calf back in and reach in and find the head and get it coming out with the feet. Since the heifer was laying on her side, there is usually no way to get them back up on their feet to walk them to the calving shoot, so you strip down to your shirt, pour anti bacterial dish soap all over the back side of the cow and calf. Then you get right down behind the cow in the gunk that comes out of the cow and start pushing, the cow is pushing out and your are pushing in, since the cow out weighs you by about a 1000 pounds, this is not an easy thing to accomplish if you get it accomplished at all. I was not able to reach in far enough to find the head, after about an hour I finally could feel an ear but I still couldn't pull the head around. I would say that a couple of hours had passed and the calf stopped moving, so I made the decision to just try to save the heifer. This meant that I had to saw off the legs to see if I could then push the calf back in to get the head out, but the calf was so big and the hips of the heifer were to small to get the legs and my arms past at the same time. I kept hoping that Burt, Clay or Roger would come looking for me, but Clay didn't show up until around 4 am, by then the heifer was barely breathing. We rolled her over on her other side to see if that would take the pressure off of her lungs and heart but it was to late, we had to put her down. The tender part of me kicked in and I just sat by her and talked to her as she stopped breathing - all the memories of the accident came flowing back - I cried and I hope that I always will........
A happy sight to see.

Later in the afternoon, we had to sort the heifers again. As we were sorting, I noticed that the little calf that was born the other morning was playing with her mommy, and that the heifer was letting her suckle. Just when you are feeling bad about loosing one, you get to see the rewards of seeing a calf that will be raised with her mom, because even with cows there is nothing more important than being loved by a mommy!

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