Heavily pregnant Peaches the Jersey cow came to the ranch for a short vacation ( Holiday in English speak). During said vacation Peaches was expected to give birth to a beautiful golden heifer which would arrive in the world on her due date...the 9th of February. Peaches long awaited offspring chose not to make the 9th it's birthday which resulted in 3 nights of broken sleep, 3 nights of peering through binoculars at a very rotund cow contentedly munching her way through a mountain of hay without a care in the world..every 2 hours. In the very early hours of this morning, with a very heavy frost on the ground and a bright snow moon shining in the clear sky, Peaches gave birth to her NOT so little calf. Defying science and the theory of sexed semen, the little wet body lying on the stall floor had "extra" parts....Peaches' little heifer was in fact, clearly, a little bull. Ooops. Unfortunately in the excitement of the moment and at 1.30 am Greg mis diagnosed the he/she detail and Mom was happily informed of the arrival of a baby GIRL. Greg maintained vigil on the Peaches and her new offspring for an hour ( I was meanwhile tucked up tightly in my bed completely unaware of the drama unfolding at the barn ) At 2.30 am Greg determined that the calf was not doing well, Momma Peaches had not cleaned up her cold wet calf and the freezing temperature had made it impossible to leave him in the stall. Roused from my peaceful slumber the Sikora team quickly milked momma cow (dodging a fairly substantial set of horns) traded a freezing wet calf for a flake of rich leafy green alfalfa ( which Peaches didn't object to) and took the shivering little bull into the barn kitchen. A hair dryer, hot pad and a multitude of blankets eventually brought his plunging temperature back up and a warm bottle of fresh custardy colostrum gave him the strength to test out his gangly long legs. As the sun rose, we returned the calf to his mom and hopefully awaited mom, calf interaction. The little bull is still searching for mom's ample udder, at the wrong end..we aren't confident. Tonight's plunging temperatures could determine where the little guy (who should have been a little girl) spends the night.
As if our day wasn't fraught enough....Life's second curve ball was just around the bathroom corner. The septic system backed up and Greg was summoned with a frantic GREG !! as the nasty drain bubbled. Almost 3pm..time to go back down to the barn, maybe milk a cow..feed 2 hungry adopted lambs and bring all the livestock and horses in for the night. Today we were going to see Mum J for her birthday....I'm sorry Mum, we will be there to see you..but not tonight. Happy Birthday, we love you.
Take care, keep safe, M