Monday, September 18, 2017

Finally Here!

Way back on the first of December, our Jersey milk cow was artificially bred. That was over nine months ago...and ever since then we've been waiting. First it was waiting to see if she "took," then it was waiting to see her tummy grow - that took a long time. For the last four weeks or so, we've been waiting for her baby to arrive.


and waiting,

and waiting,

and waiting some more.

It was obvious there was a baby in there, especially when
we took into consideration the size of her udder...

but it seemed as if it would never come.

For weeks Robin checked on her at bedtime, in the middle
of the night, and early in the morning. Yesterday morning it
was the same conversation when Robin came in:
Me: "No baby?" Robin: "No baby."

Robin went back to the farm to shock corn stalks and I sat down
to eat my breakfast. The phone rang: "Hurry up! You've got
a baby and he's trying to stand up!" I gulped my last bite
of toast, flew upstairs and threw on some clothes, and
grabbed the camera. The farm is just under two miles
from our house, and my car didn't piddle. And just look
what was waiting for me!

Mama Star had delivered her baby all on her own,
probably around 6:00 am. When I got there,
around 8:30, he was working hard at standing up.
It didn't take him very long to figure out how to get up,
but staying up was another story. All that effort on an empty
stomach was just too much, so a short nap was in order.

A hungry tummy is a powerful motivator, though,
and it wasn't long before he was up again and searching for breakfast.

He knew which end...

and he knew how to suck...

but he couldn't quite get in the right spot.
After several minutes of trying, he needed some more rest.

This time Mama joined him.

Later, in the afternoon, Robin got both Mama and Baby
in the barn. He helped the little guy out a bit and soon he was
feasting and filling up his empty tummy.

Because Star had so much milk, there was no way this
new baby could drink it all. Mama needed some relief!

Robin milked out over a gallon of the golden colostrum,
the rich first milk that is filled with all a newborn needs.

Although it was probably uncomfortable at first,
Star was mighty glad to give a bucketful of milk.

Later, she got a little treat of grain for all her efforts.

At home, I strained the colostrum and put it in bottles for the freezer.

It is highly prized by fellow farmers to nourish a weak calf or lamb
that needs an extra boost. We're thankful to have so much to share.

By evening, our new baby was stronger and more sure of his legs.

He's a mighty pretty boy!

This afternoon, he could go in and out of the barn by himself.

It's amazing how quickly this baby is gaining independence.
But he still needs his mama.

Just look at those eyelashes! What a miracle to behold!
We're so glad you're finally here, little guy.