Farmers Love Their Animals
I get so tired of reading people comments and post on how farmers don’t care about their animals that they only use them for making money, meat or use them as breeding machines. What they don’t see is days like we had yesterday.
First let me back up to a few weeks ago when we had the vet come and pregnancy check some first-time heifers. We had him check one that he said her calf was so big he didn’t know if she could have it naturally and she might need a C-section. So, every day we watched her closely, checking on her and paying attention to how she was acting.
Two days ago, I texted the vet to have him on call because Tulip (the mama) was showing signs of early labor. Then yesterday morning her labor picked up. She started pushing but wasn’t having much luck. I checked the position of the calf and he was coming out on his side but feet and nose first which is good. We called the vet and stayed with the mama telling her it was ok and making sure she had clean bedding and anything else she could want. Sean, a couple friends and I closed off the doors so it was really warm in her pen too.
We love our vet! He talks to the animal while working on them. He’s very gentle and he lets the kiddos watch and he explains what he is doing with every step. Thankfully we had lots of hands which made the surgery go quick and easy!
The calf wasn’t adapting well so we brought him inside and blasted our wood stove and all the kids took turns blow drying him with the hair drier and rubbing him with towels. Watching the kids all talking to the calf telling him its going to be alright and taking their time that they could have been ice skating and deciding they wanted to save this calf life instead made my heart burst with pride. These kids are true farmers. Putting their animals first.
While taking care of the calf we had taken blankets and sleeping bags out and covered mama to help keep her warm.
In this picture I had some molasses on my hand the calf was licking off
The calf didn’t make it and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We even tried CPR. We prayed a blessing over the calf and covered him with a towel.
I went out to the barn and Sean had set up a torpedo heater and Shannon had opened 2 square bales of hay and covered mommy with 3 sleeping bags and put the hay on top of her to keep her warm. By the way it was -6 degrees out and NONE of us (including the kids) were complaining about being cold and taking care of the cow and calf.
One or two of us stayed out there with her until 830pm with the heater on her and the blankets and kept moving the heater to a different spot on her body to make sure she got warm and gave her warm water with Molasses a quart at a time in her mouth to help warm her up and give her some energy. Then we checked on her again at ten pm before heading to bed and heated her up again.
This morning early in the am I got up and went out again to check on her again. She was up and eating hay and drank 4 gallons of water we had in her pen!!!! This picture right here is the reason we do what we do! We love our animals and we do everything in our power to give them the best life and keep them healthy and happy.
Today we get to take the hay out of the sleeping bags by hand and wash all the towels, birth pads and sleeping bags we used and dry them and mop the living room floor. Again this is a lot of work and stuff people just don’t hear about or see. They don’t hear the alarms going off to check on the animals that are sick or going to have babies in the middle of the night. They don’t see farmers crawling out of their warm beds and heading outside in the sub zero temps just to make sure the mamas and babies are Ok. They don’t see the tears farmers shed when something they tried so hard to keep alive passes. They don’t see the worry on the farmers faces when one of their animals are sick. They don’t see the farmers outside sitting on the ground with a mama cow telling her its ok they are there for her and encouraging her to pull through! They don’t see the looks in the cows eyes asking the farmer to stay and help them and then the look of gratitude that same animal has when they get better. They don’t see the frozen fingers and toes of the farmer who isn’t worrying about their own hands and feet but worried about the animal they are trying to get better. Farmers care about their animals and they hate seeing them sick or in pain.
This morning Tulip walked over to me and rested her head against me for a few minutes before walking off to go eat some hay. It was as if she was telling me thank you for helping her. Farming is my life and I love it. I wouldn’t change it for anything! Animals have feelings and farmers get that.
There are people that don’t take care of their animals but those people aren’t true farmers.