“You might as well call in to work today and sit in the barn. Today will be the day.”
I rolled my eyes at Mike. “It’s been “the day” for the last how many days.”
We were in the barn doing morning chores and checking on Caroline. She was huge, obviously uncomfortable and showing every sign that she was ready to go any time now.
“I will check on her before I leave for work.” I have been for the last couple weeks and there has been nothing to report.
We kept on with our chores and that was that.
I had everyone loaded in the van and ready to go, pulled up to the barn and you guessed it! There she was standing over a very fresh calf. I let my boss and daycare know that I was going to be late and started checking everyone out.
Oh Thelma! It was the week of the county fair, that time of year that I end up completely ignoring household duties and spend all of my energy at the fair. I had picked Monday as the day that Sweet Caroline would have her calf. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, nothing. Thursday morning Mike went out to take care of morning chores and the phone rang. The only time the phone rings that early in the morning is when Mike is calling from the barn.
“You’d better come out here!”
I was out the door in my flip flops, bathrobe and work gloves. I’ve learned to always go right away and always bring gloves. I have yet to get the proper footwear to sink in to the process. This is it! Caroline is finally calving! I rushed in to the barn and there she was, big, uncomfortable and pregnant. I found Mike out by the corral gate, on the other side was the rest of the herd eating their breakfast same as any other morning.
Caroline followed me out of the barn and there the three of us stood looking through the gate at a little black calf that was born within the last few hours.
I’ve been seeing articles about a new fitness craze- Yoga with Goats. At first I thought it was a joke, then I realized they weren’t kidding and decided it must be a “city folk” thing. Have you ever had goats or spent any time around them? I have goats. Friendly goats. If you would like to come do your morning yoga routine with them I will gladly open the gate for you.
We sell fresh eggs by the dozen, so the carton on the counter that was holding a beautiful dozen and a half raised question in Mikes mind.
It was the usual rushed Sunday morning: get ready for church, do chores, get the kids ready, pack up the eggs for Sunday deliveries and so on. Mike and I were in the kitchen refilling our coffee when he noticed my larger than normal egg carton on the counter.
“What ‘cha doin’ with those eggs?”
Without making eye contact I turned and faced the coffee pot, concentrated on pouring my next cup and mumbled “I’m going to put them in the incubator.”
We had eight of twelve duck eggs hatch. The eighth I’m hoping will make it, he’s been looking better but I’m still cautious to say we are in the clear with him yet. All animals have a “best outcome method” (my own official term) of birth. Cows it’s best to see the two front hooves and nose coming out first, goats too. Egg hatching birds (all that I am aware of) are supposed to peck around the top of the egg which is the more round end, the bottom being the pointed end. These don’t guarantee a healthy baby but the odds are much better.
Duck8 started pecking at the point of the egg. With a very small hole pecked he made no progress what so ever for about 24 hours. There was still a little wiggling in the shell so Mike decided to help the little guy out. This is not recommended by the way, but we can only watching something struggle for so long before we have to step in and help in hopes of saving the little life. Mike pealed back some of the shell leaving the inner lining intact. It reminded me of a beating heart, the motion of the lining (it was white though, not red and bloody). Then he left to go disc the hay field.