A Calf is Born

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I posted these photos on Facebook in May before I started this blog. They received such an overwhelming response that I wanted to share them again. In fact, this series of photos is part of the reason why I decided to start this blog, because I realised how many special stories there are waiting to be shared about our life on the farm.

I originally planned to share the photos in early August at the start of calving season, but then events overtook us and we ended up with the little calves in our kitchen last week (see Calving Season has Begun! and R.I.P Little Calf). Hopefully this will be the last calf-related post for a while and you can rest assured that this story has a happy ending! It is also apt because Ashley is visiting us at the moment and she was with us when we watched this little embryo calf being “pulled” from its surrogate mother. It was a real miracle and we were so privileged to witness it.

Quentin arrived home in a very big hurry one afternoon in late May shouting for Ashley and me to come with him. There was a cow in distress and she needed help with the delivery of her calf, which was in a breach position. This was the first I had ever heard about “pulling a calf” so I was naturally intrigued. The calf would not have survived without help and Quentin really wanted to make sure that he/she was not harmed, because it was the first embryo calf from his prize Boran cow Jackie MHB 05-08. We prayed that he/she had not been in distress for too long.

Francis is the hero of this story. He is one of the chief mechanics and drivers on the farm, but he also happens to be an expert at pulling calves (go figure?). He kept his cool throughout and took such care to make sure that everything went smoothly. Notice too that Ashley was in her favourite farm gear – her flower girl dress from our wedding that she did not take off all summer while she was visiting us! I just love this series of photos and I hope you appreciate them too.

Two hooves peeking out…

Francis is the expert at pulling so he takes the lead.

The strength of five men…

… pulling hard on the rope tied to the calf’s legs!

It’s a girl and she is breathing!

Francis checks to see if she is okay.

Mom says hello with a lick.

Say hello to Jackie VST 12-04!

Ashley takes a closer look.

Hip, hip hooray for a job well done!

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