Tuesday, March 16, 2010

First Calf of the Season, Let the Fun Begin

#420 and her calf

We had our first calf of the year today. Actually, "we" meaning Dan the Man and myself didn't have the calf, our #420 cow did.

The pictures aren't the greatest since it was "quittin' time" and the sun was going down when we found #420, also known as "Angel's mom" and the new calf.

The crazy schedule that comes with this crazy way of life has officially began. Sometimes I miss the simplistic schedule of a "9 to 5" job. Being the hired-hand on the farm/ranch is nothing like the "9 to 5" jobs I have had in the past.

This morning I woke up with my day already planned. I was going to work on the chicken coops and get everything ready for the chick's. We'll be getting our first batch in a couple of weeks and I want to be well prepared ahead of time so I'm not running around with my head cut off at the last minute trying to get everything set up for the chicks.

I was just finishing up with my morning computer time when Dan the Man swaggered into the kitchen for his breakfast. After he got his cereal and sat down he began telling me what he had planned for us to do today. We were going to fix fence and move cattle. Ugh... so much for me cleaning the coops and getting the chick stuff ready.

Being the lowly hired hand I don't always get to make the plans, I just go along with what Dan the Man (The Boss Man) has planned. Being the hired hand, also known as the gopher, my immediate job was to drive into town and pick-up some t-post (fence post) for the fence. I don't know why we didn't pick them up when we were in town yesterday, but I didn't bother to ask. I already knew the answer which would have been "I forgot!" Besides, I'm the gopher... I go-fer this and go-fer that all the time.

I wouldn't mind going to town for stuff if it didn't take 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes to get back. Are you adding that time up? It takes an hour alone just to get to town and back, plus the time it takes to get your stuff. Too bad I don't get paid for my time like in a real job! Then I'm sure I wouldn't mind driving back and forth to town and getting paid for it!

Anyway, I went to town, got the supplies and returned home. Then Dan the Man and I started in on the fence. We finished up what Dan the Man had on his agenda and then we moved some of the cattle around. It's getting time to move them off some of the pasture so that it can begin growing without the cattle grazing it. Dan the Man also wanted to move the cows who are going to be calving up closer to the house. It'll be easier to keep an eye on them that way.

Dan the Man was going to feed the bulls and steers some hay and since it was dinner time, I was going to go inside and get dinner started. I hadn't been in too long when Dan the Man came back in saying he needed my help again. This is a typical thing that happens this time of year. You never can tell when supper is going to be served around here. By now, it's after 6:00 p.m. Good thing I hadn't had time to start dinner yet. He had got all the cows into the pasture he wanted them in except for one, #420.

She was clear down by herself by the creek. Dan the Man figured that she might of had her calf down there and that was why she wasn't coming up like the other cows did. So we jumped in the truck and drove down there to see what was up with her. Sure enough, there she was with her little calf! Awwww, they are so stinkin' cute. The calf was several hours old because she had it all cleaned up and it was standing quite steady on it's feet.

#420 is one of our older cows and also one of the least friendly ones. Normally Dan the Man would have just picked up the calf and handed it to me then we would have drove the truck up to the pasture where we wanted the cow and calf to be and the cow would have just followed us. But not with this knot-head cow. We thought we might be able to coax her up to the proper pasture, but she wasn't going to have anything to do with what we wanted.

After we tried a few times, we gave up and let her have her own way. The calf was doing fine and so was she so they would be okay where they were for the night. We'll try again tomorrow or maybe by God's grace, she come up on her own when she needs water and realizes the rest of the cows are in a different pasture.

We didn't get close enough to see if the calf was a little girl or little boy. I think since it was born so close to St. Patrick's Day, I'll name him/her Paddy (if it is a boy) or Patty (if it is a girl).

By the time I got back to the house it was after 7:00 p.m. and I still had to make supper. I wish I had a "hired-hand" to do my cooking and cleaning on days like these!

#420 and her calf
will it be Paddy or Patty?


  1. I love calving season. Waking in the morning to find the hillsides sprinkled with tiny little newborn "caffies", as I call them, is a wonderment. Of course, as I am not a rancher, I get to have all the fun and none of the work.

  2. He/She sure is a cutie. Looks the size of a black lab but I don't think I'd want it as a house pet.

    Your days kinda make me wish I was young again. The key word is "kinda".


  3. Let the fun begin! It sure is a cutie, though!