Sixty-five and sunny feels very different from sixty-five and dreary. I spent most of the day taking my sweatshirt off and putting it back on as the clouds came and went. The forecast was for a decent morning with rain in the afternoon and we got the exact opposite. It rained all morning and was decently nice in the afternoon (though it is raining now). I believed the forecast and started the day in jeans and my fleece instead of my water-resistant hiking pants and rain coat. By the time we finished morning chores, I was more than just damp.
We woke up to three calves! One heifer and two cows gave birth late last night or early this morning. The babies are wobbly and absolutely adorable.
We’ll have quite a few little ones before all is said and done!
Yesterday the heifers went out to pasture and today we put the cows out. The steers will go out first thing next week. They are so much happier with fresh grass to eat.
Things went much better today because we didn’t have to sort anyone. We opened the barn gates the cows quickly found their way out. Moving them shouldn’t be too difficult now. They are actually trained to come when Ryan or Steve call. Whoever is moving them stands at the gate and shouts “Come on” and the cows meander through to the next pasture. The other person prods along any stragglers, but once they see the group is moving on, they run to catch up with the others.
One of the calves was a male which meant he needed to be castrated. All male calves are destined to become steers (and eventually steaks), not bulls. It is easiest to castrate them within the first few days before they get too ornery. The hardest part is getting them away from mama cow. Thankfully, the little guy’s mom was pretty calm and didn’t freak out when we took him from her, though she did watch us the whole time we had him. Ryan and Steve carried it out and I just observed. Which was fine by me.
In other news, Bob the she-lamb isn’t doing well. We aren’t sure what’s wrong with her, but she won’t put weight on her front right leg. It isn’t swollen and she’s in a safe, obstacle-free environment so we’re not sure how she could have injured it. Ryan suspects she simply isn’t growing properly. She had a lot of trouble learning to stand and walk when she was first born so this seems to be a lingering problem. She’d been doing better, but now she’s getting bigger and gaining weight so perhaps her bones and muscles just aren’t keeping up with the rest of her. I am hoping she grows out of it!