“Hey! Check your phone!” It was Mike calling me at work.
“Wait…What?! Is that Wheez..Lu..Mar.. no Lucy’s?!” I couldn’t get my words out but through my stammering Mike was able to translate.
“Yes! Lucy had a calf not too long ago. She’s still cleaning it off.”
“Well shoot. I didn’t think she was due for a couple months yet.”
Once again surprised by a calf. Lucy is great for calving, knock-on-wood, she hasn’t needed help with any so far. Each one she gets up and eating right away. She’s a good cow.
When I got home I headed right for the barn rather than the house. The cows were spread about the corral. Lucy was standing next to the feeder outside. I didn’t see a calf anywhere. It’s not unusual for our calves to get out at least twice within their first week. But not usually within the first few hours and when Lucy’s calves are out she’s call’n. I walk up to the fence next to her and looked around. It was then that the hay in the feeder moved. The little guy was balled up in there and she had him covered to keep him warm.
Mike met me at the fence shortly thereafter. He climbed into the feeder and immediately Lucy made it clear that he was not welcome that close to her and the calf. They both stood their ground and as usual Lucy knew there would be no harm but was unsettled none the less. Mike picked up the calf and passed him over the fence to me. Then Mike hopped out and Lucy started making a fuss.
It was chilly out and the calf was still wet so we wanted to get him good and dry and then move them both into the barn for the next while. I stood next to the fence with the later named Rudy so Lucy could be nose to nose with him. Mike ran to the house to get a couple towels and the bathroom scale. –Might as well weigh him since we had him out.
When Mike was back out I took Rudy up to the barn door and Lucy made a mad dash to get into the barn herself. Little Rudy weighed in at a whole 35 pounds! From there we went in the barn and I started drying him off. Mike jumped the boards and gated the door to keep Lucy and Rudy in and the rest of the bunch out. A short gate and a couple lead ropes and everyone was where they were supposed to be. We sent Rudy in with Lucy on a fresh pile of straw. They made themselves at home pretty quickly.
About that time the little miss was walking into the barn. Yep, there she was, snow boots, princess underwear and a winter coat, (sigh), she was checking on her cows what can I say. Once she was satisfied that everyone was going to be ok she headed back to the house and Mike started hauling buckets of water to the cows outside.
It’s winter. We don’t have the outside tank set up. They all have water in the barn for the winter but since most of the herd will be outside we needed some sort of water setup out there. We’ve been hauling buckets twice a day ever since. That’s okay. It’s not going to be for too long and with any luck the weather will start to turn and spring will be here soon.
I s’pose this weekend we will have to give Rudy a once-over, see if he needs to be dehorned and decide if he will be beef or bull. For now he’s just plain cute!
UPDATE: He’s going to be left a bull.