Except,maybe a little nicer than many of us.In addition to my sewing work we are also in the slow process of building an organic farm,including dairy cows.We didn’t really plan it (like so much of our life!)but the cows just sort of came to us,literally.They were loose in the area for weeks about 1.5 years ago,and we kept shooing them out of the property,only to return again.”They” meaning two adult cows and their teenage daughters .We asked around and no one seemed to know where they came from or who took care of them and eventually my hubbie,son and father in law wrangled them.Oh..this could turn into a long story but suffice it to say after a year someone did claim them and we ended up buying them.We started off with Fluffy(mom)and her calf Moohawk,and then there was Horny(yes,the kids named her after her lovely horns!)and her calf Blackie.Fluffy had a calf a few months after we aquired her that my son Kua named after himself(Kua Junior)but since he was a boy we did eventually sell him when he was no longer nursing.(this is really boring!)
Fast forward and two weeks ago Fluffy had another sweet boy and we were so excited to be there for the birth!It was so beautiful to watch her labor and change positions and to hear her moos get really low and deep as she came closer to delivery.The other cows seemed to be giving her space but when she was close to the end,Horny came over and stood with her as she pushed the calf out and then helped her lick the calf down,nudging it and making sure it was ok.So sweet!
The calf was having a hard time latching on to nurse.Fluffy is part Dwarf Cow and so her udder is much lower to the ground than other breeds.Her calf takes after his Daddy and it big and tall so it was difficult for him to easily access her teats.I thought it was strange that an hour after the calf was born Fluffy STILL had not delivered the placenta.I had to take the kids to the house and make dinner bu.t my husband stayed with them to try and help out with the nursing.Fluffy eventually ended up delivery another….amniotic sac that was filled with organs but not a formed calf.We had said many times that it looked like she was pregnant with twins and apparently we were sort of right.My hubbie said she delivered a humongous placenta(which she ate along with the ‘other’ stuff) after wards and then seemed ready to buckle down and get her calf nursing.
A week later Moohawk(Fluffy’s daughter)gave birth to her first calf.We missed the birth but hubbie was there right afterwards.Unlike Fluffy,Moohawk did NOT eat the placenta or even try and clean up the umbilical cord.She just kind of cleaned up the calf a little bit and then wandered off the eat grass.Fluffy ended up eating the placenta and chewing off the umbilical cord.In the days since then oddly Fluffy has been taking care of the calf more than Moohawk(aside from nursing it-generally keeping tabs on it,licking it etc.).It is interesting to me that even a first time mother cow seems to really need that extra support and to have her mother show her the ropes!Moohawk is blessed to have that kind of support unlike so many of us first time human mothers.
Aloha and many blessings~