No Human Intervention Required
April 8th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Posted in farming
Our animals have free range over 12 acres of pasture and that makes us a little nervous this time of year when they’re walking around pregnant. You never know where they might decide to give birth and we’ve had to carry more than one newborn lamb back to the shelter to get it out of the weather.
Our Jersey cow Emily is not one to cause inconvenience. Just before lunch today she had her calf in a corner of the orchard where I could easily see her from the kitchen window. I was washing some eggs when I spied Emily and what appeared to be an extra set of tiny legs. I pulled on my coat and boots and, sure enough, there was the proud mom with her new boy. We’re calling him Porter.
We’ve been in a state of great suspense because when the vet performed his ultrasound not long after Emily was bred he thought he saw two embryos–identical twins. Since we don’t have enough pasture for three cows, I wasn’t exactly happy with that diagnosis and worried about a difficult birth. Emily kept getting bigger and bigger. Her udder lately is about the size of a Volkswagen.
Well, it looks like the ultrasound lied. We’ve got just one soon-to-be steer on our hands and if all goes well he’ll be with us till fall 2018.
Last I looked, Emily was cleaning her boy and groaning the low, chesty groan of an attentive mom cow. This is the second time she has given birth without any assistance at all, just smooth as can be. I take that as further sign that animals really do know what they’re doing and do not require humans hovering over them at all times.
Millions of years of evolution, I guess.