“It doesn’t get much better than this at harvest time. Soft warm days, cool nights, some color in the trees, and the dairy calves coming steadily, easily, almost one per day. Three heifers calved during the day this week, instead of the typical midnight-to-dawn shift. Daytime calves make management a little bit easier, but the best part is that if we’re lucky, we get to witness the event.
Cori went into labor on Wednesday morning. She took her time through the early part, pacing the field, hormones rushing, occasionally pausing to lick me from my zipper to my chin as I sat on a fallen cedar tree and watched. Cori was a first-timer, and she mooed with alarm at the tide rising inside of her, this strange force beyond her control.
Lindsey joined me in the field, and when Cori lay down for the last strenuous part we both felt a strong desire to help, though of course, the best help in an uncomplicated calving is to give the cow her space. Cori mustered one last mighty push and when she had recovered her breath and looked behind her she gave a startled MOO! then immediately jumped to her feet to lick the biggest surprise of her life.
She licked so vigorously and insistently the stunned wet calf flipped and rolled and flipped and rolled, traveling a few yards down the field, which is how Lindsey and I got a glimpse of her undercarriage, and discovered she was a heifer, the most precious of farm babies.
Lindsey and I had naming rights, for having seen her first. We solicited suggestions for C names, and got Coco, Cookie, Cher, and Caroline, but Miranda’s contribution – Crayfish – won…” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.