Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Saturday, 21 April 2012

It ain't all sunshine and roses

This post is  about calving , but it  could be about any thing we do . we do our best , and are vigilant , and it still sometimes goes wrong . Most of the calving this year has gone pretty well. we have gotten through some nasty  weather , more or less unscathed. and the calves are  for the most part doing well. I have one little heifer here that is , well just not quite all she could be, she is drinking and mobile enough , but a little slow and a bit "off" I affectionately call her "Stupid Cupid" not sure why , but it fits. She falls behind, and gets on the wrong side of the fence, and while she has a good momma , she is a bit more lethargic than the others,not sick , just not "right " . SO you can imagine I am  keeping a pretty close eye on her, making sure she is always where she needs to be and doing OK.
Things like this happen, and hopefully she will  continue to improve.then there are the problem calvings , the neighbor called for help the other day, and Martin and I went to assist in a calving , of one GINORMOUS calf !

I honestly thought when we got there that  the calf was not going to make it , his head was swollen and his tounge  was purple, and he just wasn't coming. A bit of teamwork and a bunch of  hard work later , we got him out , alive, momma looked a little done in, but sure enough jumped  right up , and all is well.

It doesn't always go  that well, and there are losses , which are frustrating and devastating , but part of it  all the same . My dad reminded me today after a  fairly rotten situation here , of something my late Uncle Albert used to say "if you  can't handle dead stock, you  shouldn't have livestock" or something to that effect. Sad but true , it comes with the territory, it is absolutely not the goal , but it happens.
Sometimes, a perfectly simple situation goes horribly wrong in the blink of an eye. But  thank goodness, more often than not ,it goes well.

And sometimes if you are very lucky and quiet, and the timing is right , you get to witness it going right , in the very best way!

Caution, while the following pictures are a natural thing, they may  be more graphic than some prefer to see 

Stay safe all 


Ami said...

Really amazing to be there for all the new lives. :)

So I want to see a picture of Stupid Cupid, who could have her name shortened one of two ways.

Anonymous said...

Glad for the pictures - just amazing and beautiful - do cows always stand to calve? Hope the "slow one" comes around in time.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Wow, those are some great shots! Will the "slow" ones improve over time?
Yes, you must show us Stupid Cupid.

I like what your Uncle said, very wise.

Reddunappy said...

What a funny painted face that newborn has! LOL

Poor SC (;O))

Yep fact of life, death.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

will try to get pics of St Cupid for you all, she is not doing well at the moment , I had to tube feed her and we will see

Shirley said...

Nothing like dumping your baby on its head for its introduction to the world! Great capture.
Hope you don't lose many calves this season.

Linda said...

Calving is sometimes hard on the emotions. I hate seeing a poor old girl suffer with a huge baby or what the calf has to go though after they get swollen like that. Great shots of the cow dumping the calf on its head.....always amazes me how they do that and survive. I guess it gives the fluid time to drain but that crash landing.......:(

GoLightly said...

Great pictures, FV.

Good luck with the slow one!

kden said...

How lucky you are to witness that, I think they're beautiful. I hope cupid pulls through ♥

Rising Rainbow said...

Stupid Cupid, I love it. Makes perfect sense to me. I can see why it fits for you.

I've only seen one calf born and it was one of those times things did not go well. I learned right then, cows weren't going to be my thing. I love their sweet babies but don't know that I can deal with the odds. Give me that long narrow(compared to a cow) face of a foal any day of the week.

Funny thing is if I applied that logic to dogs I would never breed my boxer...... but then I haven't yet. Keep thinking about it but the size and shape of that head keeps me at bay.

What a cute marking on this calf and the other one is a monster size. Poor mama. She has my sympathies of pushing that one out. I can certainly see why they needed your help.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Your uncle is a man of wise words. Of the three we started with and one we hoped for- we are down to one bovine now.

If Betsy keeps bawling her head off like she has lately, she may well go live at the neighbors or we need to get her a 'friend' to keep her company. 3am and her 'Beautiful Moo' is turning out to not be music to my ears so much anymore.

Cute calf and I hope the little heifer makes it. Losing them sucks, but we face that with every animal we own- livestock, pets, furry, finned or feathered.

C-ingspots said...

Just beautiful! Amazing shots of the way we wish they would all go.

Janice said...

Great shots.Hope Cupid picks up. Your Uncle is right and that isn't the first time I've heard that...knowing it doesn't make it any easier though.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Sadly Little Stupid Cupid , did not in fact make it, she perked up last evening after a second tube feed ,and was dead this morning. Sucks ,but it happens .We can do our very best and it can still go wrong. Hardest thing to learn is sometimes our very best is just not good enough

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Aw-Sorry to hear that. The loss of any animal is hard, it's doubly hard when the loss of a life also means the loss of revenue. Sounds harsh...but is true.

Hope the rest of the calving season goes well.

Crystal said...

Aww it is sad when they don't make it, unfortunatly it is part of the whole issue of the business. I like your Uncles Quotes, I was told if it doesn't hurt when you lose them you shouldn't have them. But either way it sucks when they die :(

greymare said...

Although you did you best and gave it your all, Mother Nature still runs the roost. It was probably best that she lost her fight. Everything happens for a reason but it still is hard to take. Good luck with the rest.

Nicole said...

Wow great capture! My uncle's girlfriend wanted to see a calf born so she would stake out cows until they calved and she finally got to see one born. It was funny :)