Friday, December 5, 2008


AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH, life on a farm.....

As many of you know, we transplanted to my DH's husband's farm in June, and in the beginning, I was scared of everything. I didn't want the cows to come up and be near me, they freaked me out. The jumping insects and all that jazz just about made me come unglued.
Then, I realized that I needed to bloom where I was planted. And life became a lot easier for me. (Oh, BTW, I still don't do spiders and mice). I have been given a task of feeding the replacment heifers their treats every day and I absolutely love it. They know me now, and as long as I have their treats, they love me. They know me and come running when I call to them. (Isn't that great, even my kids don't do that).
So, you could say that I have adapted to farm life rather well. It's simplicity and beauty take my breath some days.
We are now in calving season. All of the pregnant cows are beginning to have their little ones. And I have never, ever been a part of a calving season. The absolute renewing of life, in any creature, amazes me and astounds me. It leaves me with questions about how the mother cow copes. Does it hurt really, really bad? Do they make a lot of noise? Are they scared being alone when this miracle of life happens? What does the calf look like at first? Just millions of questions, and no answers.
UNTIL NOW......
Yesteday, my DH took me out riding in the pasture to see some of the newborn calves. My Uncle D stopped us and said that the nursery was full. That, while I had been in town taking care of bidness, a lot of the cows had birthed. I was so excited, I could hardly sit still. I was anxious and jumping around on the seat of the Kubota like a child on Christmas morning. Oh what joy, what bliss. Newborn calves.
(And NO, I could not remember to bring my camera). They were just precious. All gangly and some of them were days old and trying to be playful. Oh, my heart just melted. And I giggled, like a little girl. I really did. I was so enamored of these beautiful little creatures. I just wanted to pet them or hold them and rub their little noses. (I didn't, mama cows don't like you messing with their newborns). Smiling and clapping my hands, shouting, "Oh, look, there's another one", or "Over there" and "Aw, look".
Then I saw a cow under a tree, whose baby was so brand new that she was still having contractions to deliver the afterbirth. Wow, I ALMOST got to see a live birth. But not quite.
Then, on the other side of the field, I saw a small bundle on the ground and the mother was nearby and having some contractions. (These mother cows were not making any bellowing noises or any noise at all with the contractions, so I couldn't tell y ou if they felt the pain of childbirth or not). Anyway, as we got closer, the mother cow was chewing something. DH told me the cow was not even an hour old. And I thought, "You go girl, up grazing that soon". Then we got closer and GGGGGGAAAAAAKKKKKKK. The mother cow was eating the afterbirth. WHAT?????
The images of little bluebirds flying around and bunnies hopping and an angelic choir singing came to a screeching halt.
How gross can one animal get? Oh yeah, the babies are still cute, but I'm too freaked out about the afterbirth thing to get past it. Now I wonder if I fell down and couldn't get up, would the cows eat me, too? Oh, my. Talk about an eye opener.
Mother nature. You gotta love her.

16 comments:

Midwest Mommy said...

lol, I was not expecting that!!!!
we need pics of the babies...not the afterbirth.

Kori said...

Ya know not to be like super gross. But almost all animals eat the afterbirth of their babies. Yep it's pretty nasty.

Pictures of the new babies would be awesome.

Christie said...

Yuk! It sounds gross but at the same time, I was laughing while reading about it.

The Blonde Duck said...

That does NOT sound tasty.

Melissa said...

Yeah, cats do that, too. Vomiting in my mouth as I type.

Shell, you are hysterically funny.

Shanda said...

My sister lives on a farm and is always sharing her stories. She loves calving season as well. She has had to hand feed (bottles) a couple along the way and has gotten really attached. Some of her stories make me wish I was there on the farm with her and others make me happy I'm a sub-berb (sp?!) dweller!

Octamom said...

What a pastoral, placental moment....
(loved your written sound effects!!!)

Blessings!

Trooper Thorn said...

Get the calves to suck on your fingers in a couple of weeks. That is the coolest.

Vickie said...

Stopping by from SITS. Your SITSmas snowman was great.

My dream is to actually work and own a farm. The cow story was wonderful, except for the afterbirth..EWWWW.

Spiders..AAHHHHhhhhhh

Joy 2 The World said...

Actually, human mothers ate the "after-birth" for thousands and thousands of years.

Some women still do.
If you birth in a hospital they won't let you keep it.
If you birth at home- you can.

hmmmmmmmm

Many home-birth Momma's dig a hole and put it in the hole- then plant a tree on top of it.

Maybe more "down-home" info. than you needed???

I live in the country, too.

Jen said...

Wow, this is kinda scary. I could never do the farm life thing.

mommaof4wife2r said...

birthing calves is sooo awesome...the birds...not at all. gross. thx for stopping by today! i have a secret dream of being a farm wife when the kids are grown...hmmmm

Honey Mommy said...

I grew up on a dairy farm, so this post was a lot of fun for me!

Annikke said...

I am a city girl and can't imagine seeing the wittle babies, but ew ew ew eating afterbirth?? ICK!

Boy Mom said...

Can you say bovine sushi boys and girls?

Hilarious!

Lula! said...

You said "afterbirth."

I so love you even more now.