Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby O Survives Again

Baby O was the first calf born here on our farm right after we started our herd. Her Mom is a 1600 pound cow we call "BIG O" and for good reason. First she is BIG and second she is an orange color so the name Big O was kind of fitting for her. We came home from a dinner with family one evening of July 2010. Big O had given birth to the long awaited baby. She looked like a preemie, she was so little and so weak she couldn't get up. We couldn't believe that huge cow gave birth to that tiny calf. We waited and watched setting out in the field on the 4 wheeler even past dark hoping she would get up and suck. They should be sucking within an hour or so. It was evident we needed to help. Richard went to mix the milk supplement. Being careful not to upset (Her Bigness) the other name we call Big O we were on our hands and knees in the field with a bottle. The next morning she was still very weak as you can see Richard carrying her out of the field. After a few bottles she was strong enough to stand and suck on her own. Then she developed respiratory problems, there was more doctoring to be done but we would do what we needed to do to save her. We were told by several people who raise cattle she would probably not live but we pushed on to save her. Well she survived and Saturday she went into labor with her own baby. We have been worried about her because she was huge and when she started having contractions we watched her very close. I had to stop in the middle of cooking a birthday dinner for my sister and niece to help get her in the barn lot in case we had to help her have the baby. Richard checked on her several times throughout the evening. After family left we went to the barn and decided to give her until 11:00pm. She did not really act like she was in distress. At 11pm we started collecting the equipment to pull the calf. We got her in the chute around midnight, Richard checked up inside and could tell it was a big calf, too big probably for her to have on her own. We had the chain around the first hoof and I was holding it, then we were hooking up the second chain to the other hoof when it happened. She backed up and knocked down the boards and backed out of the chute with Richard trying to hold on to the calf. He had to let her go, she probably weighs 800 to 900 pounds. We tried to get her back in the chute when she decided to try to ram me. I ended up climbing the gate to get away from her. Scared the heck out of me I'll tell you. She is not mean, as you can see in the pictures. She eats our of our hands and never showed any aggression but it was her way of saying back off. The simple fact is you can't trust a big animal like this ever especially in a situation like this. We decided as my insistence to leave her alone before one of us got hurt. We got back to the house at 2am. We neither one slept very much or for very long. Richard was up early and got her into the chute by himself.I was waiting for him to call me. Finally I called him and he said he was pulling the calf now so I grabbed my insulated bibs and jumped on the 4 wheeler and raced to the barn in the rain. The baby was on the ground. Baby O was licking him and talking to him and he was trying to get up. His leg at the first joint was buckled under probably from being so big I'm sure he didn't have much room in there. Richard put a splint on it Sunday and we took it off tonight and he is standing on it better now. She could have never had this baby on her own, they would have both died if it hadn't been for my husband and his caring ways for our animals. And oh by the way she was still mad at me. On Sunday she tried to head butt me again but she will get over it in time. She was much better with me today. The pictures I am posting are from when she was born through her adolescence and now into motherhood. We are very thankful things turned out like they did.


  1. I was on pin and needles, so glad everything
    "came out" OK! the moms and babies are so sweet!

  2. So glad it all worked out and everything was fine! What sweet photos of mama and baby! You never know what's going to happen, but it's all worth it!

  3. Big O is a beautiful cow~ then Baby O love the marking on her face~ Calving is always so stressful~ sleepless nights~ checking all day long~and praying for healthy calving~
    A very nice calf oh, a joyful time, wishing healing for the leg~ don't turn your head on Mamma Baby O~ she has now sensed your fear~ I had a cow when I was growing up I once ran from her, that did it , I could not get close to her she would come at me every time~ I called her "Mean Old Cow"~
    Beautiful post~ enjoyed all the photos~

  4. What a beautiful story! Love all the photos over time. Beautiful cows!

  5. What a beautiful baby! So glad this story had a happy ending.

  6. LOVE the name of your blog - have just stumbled across it. What a beautiful story and such amazing images - literally brought tears to my eyes - and that last image - what a beautiful cow!

  7. Love the name of your blog - just stumbled across it! What beautiful images - literally brought tears to my eyes. I never thought I'd say it, but that last image - what an absolutely BEAUTIFUL cow!

  8. Beautiful heart warming story that I can relate to. Great pictures. I love baby calves with their big velvet eyes and long lashes.
    I am sixty-eight and almost always lived on a farm. I married a city boy who loved the country and has kept cows as my father did on this property.

    One night he was desperate to save a cow who was in distress trying to birth a calf. He pulled until he was exhausted and gave up, got into his truck to rest and began to pray. He felt that he was being told to go back and try again. He did and this time he was able to get the calf. Both animals lived to be an old age.