A Calf Flex
We are so glad you are here with us in this world. Thank you for making this place better. — Baby Saul
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
On Sunday morning I was fumbling towards coffee in the pre-dawn darkness when I heard Veli barking up a storm. She rarely barks at that hour, and when she kept the racket up, I decided she might need backup. In my bathrobe, I headed to the pasture. There was Julia just finishing up delivering her little boy. She did the whole thing all by herself!
I called Chris and together we decided to move Julia away from the herd so she could have some quiet time to bond with baby. I slipped a halter onto Julia and Chris picked up the calf and together we got them nestled into a clean, dry stall.
Like last year, Julia was a bit hesitant to let her baby nurse, and her calf was slow to latch. Julia’s udder was so full of milk that I thought she might be in pain. I milked her to relieve some pressure, which is always a risky activity with Julia, who has kicked me more than once for touching her udder. Once her teats were not so engorged, I tied her up and guided baby towards his first meal.
Time really is of the essence with ruminants, who have a very small window to get antibody-rich colostrum into their systems. If they don’t get enough milk in the first couple of hours of life, they’re really going to have a hard go of it. It’s interesting, Benni and Gimlet never needed my help with nursing, but Julia and her babies have both needed extra TLC.
After three days in the barn, we introduced Julia and Saul to the rest of the herd. So far, everyone is getting along and Julia is head-butting anyone who dares come too close to her boy. I, meanwhile, am extremely relieved to have the birthing process over! (At least until early June, when Benni is due.)
Here’s What I Loved This Week
My Twitter pal @mcrumiano stopped by the farm and took this pic of me with our sheep. I love it so much! It truly captures how I feel about them! And, I love it when friends visit the farm. To me, sharing my critters with others is one of the best things about farming.