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Business as usual

July 3, 2008
By KERRY HOFFMAN

After what seems like an eternity, April, Russell's Jersey, has given birth. For a few days there I could relate to the farmers that never leave their farms.

I had decided, in my head, and unbeknownst to Steve, Joey and Russell, I wasn't going to leave for vacation if April didn't have her calf before our scheduled departure Saturday morning. I knew my sister-in-law wasn't coming up to the cabin until Monday. I could hitch a ride with her.

It was Friday morning and I made Steve check on April. She was actually dilated a bit more than she was the previous day. We decided to wait until and then check her again.

Back to life as usual dentist, groceries, fishing license.

I took Joey and Russell to a successful dentist appointment no cavities! After that, I was glad to hear Joey and Russell wanted to be taken back home right away. They didn't want to go grocery shopping with me. To tell the truth, I didn't want them to go with me either.

I dropped the two munchkins off and headed back into town on Highway 15. Before I even reached the Big Cottonwood River bridge, my phone rang.

It was Joey.

"I thought you would want to know that April is having her calf," he said calmly.

"Cool! I am going to turn around and come home."

I flipped a louie in the Maday Motors parking lot and headed back south to the farm.

On my return trip, my phone rang again.

It was Russell.

"April is having her calf!" he said extremely out of breath. He was more excited about the entire event because April is actually his cow. And the consequent calf would also be his.

I figured by the time I got home, April would be on her feet licking off the calf.

But I was lucky; she was still lying on the straw giving it her all.

I think Joey, Russell, Steve and Mitch could have pulled the calf before I got home, but out of kindness they waited.

Mitch, who now works for us full-time, got his first lesson on how to help a cow have her baby, and he did excellently.

He helped bring a beautiful bull calf into the world.

"I prayed to God that he would give us a girl calf," I said.

"You should have prayed for that 300 days ago," Steve said.

"I figured that God can work miracles and turn that calf into a girl, if he really wanted," I said.

"You think you're disgusted," Russell said. "It's my calf. I wanted a girl too."

April almost immediately stood up and started licking her calf clean.

It was back to business as usual for us.

Later, I went out to check on the calf. He's so cute and tiny. We're used to big Holstein calves. I got the calf all excited when I grabbed April's teat and squirted milk at him.

I tried to teach him how to suck on the teat to get a good meal, but he just didn't understand and insisted on sucking April's leg.

I am quite sure a heifer calf would have found that teat a lot quicker than this bull calf.

Joey, Russell and I all wish we could keep this Jersey calf here at home, but the boss wants nothing to do with that.

He (that would be the bull calf, not Steve) has to go.

Hopefully, Haf, the next Jersey due to calve in August, will give us a heifer.

And with that, I am off to vacation.

For questions, or comments e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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