...this one from the tiny heifer we bought almost two years ago...her first calf. The phone call came from the folks spending the weekend in the Guest House. They had taken over Robin's late-night checks and called to say, "It's coming!" And come it did, quickly and easily, at least from our point of view. Mama might beg to differ.
With no electricity in the barn, the only light we had came from flashlights. It was a challenging photo situation for me, to say the least!
Saturday night was cold here, with the temperature near freezing. See that misty fog above the calf? That's the steam coming off her little body. Being born must have been a pretty chilly experience.
But Little Jersey (we're not too creative when it comes to names around here) knew exactly what to do. She licked and licked until her new baby was clean and almost dry, stimulating the calf's circulation to warm it up.
Just a little less than an hour after birth, the baby was trying to stand. All that wobbling and falling strengthened her muscles and her resolve until she succeeded. And yes! She's a girl!! In farm language, that's a heifer.
These are snapshots from video footage...can't seem to get the video to load. Bummer!
Fast forward about fourteen or fifteen hours, to just past noon the next day. I stopped at the farm on the way home from church to see how this little girl was doing. What a difference a few hours made!
And those eyelashes!!
She got her dark eyes and nose from her Mama, a Jersey milk cow. But she got her red coat from her Papa. His name is Baltimore, an Irish Dexter bull. He belongs to our neighbors across the road. Irish Dexters are a hardy, all-purpose breed, good for milking, meat, and work animals. I think this little girl is a lovely combination of both her parents.
There's no doubt about it: she's a spunky one! She wasn't afraid to meet her "cousin," who was born last September...
nor was she shy about trying out running and jumping,
all under Mama's watchful eye.
By yesterday afternoon she was almost two days old. She was nursing well, as evidenced by her energy and milk mustache.
Our guests in the Guest House became quite attached to this new baby. It was a girls' weekend out for two moms and their three "tween" daughters, ages twelve and thirteen. Just minutes after the calf was born, the girls christened her "Belle."
By Monday afternoon little Belle was showered with lots of love and affection...
...by the younger ones,
and the not-as-young ones. What is it about baby animals that draws us humans in and makes us smile all the way down to our toes?
Although Belle was enjoying the attention, getting all that love and affection was hard work.
It wasn't long before she was sound asleep.
And so, we have another new baby on the farm. What a joy these little ones are. In her first two days of life, Belle had visits from neighbors and friends who left the farm with smiling faces and lighter hearts. Oh, to be able to bless others by my presence like sweet and spunky Belle!