Last spring I proved somewhat useful as a ranch-hand in a manner befitting my natural gifts and working ranch experience: I got to sit on the back of Heifer #205 to keep her from standing up and injuring herself during a difficult delivery of a stillborn calf, her first.
Despite a long afternoon of work on the schedule, the other ranch chores couldn’t wait for a day so we were out feeding as soon as the sun came up. When we took the first bale of hay we saw a cow on the ground in distress. She was a heifer–yet to birth a calf–and she was lying on the ground trying to birth a too large calf. I sat on her back to keep her calm and down while Kara and Roe used a tow rope to try and extract the calf past the shoulders. The calf was already gone and when the placenta came out with the calf it was a sign that it must have detached hours before in the middle of the night.
It was a hard start to the day, but it wasn’t the last dead calf…
After Kara and Roe successfully birthed the calf, they moved its lifeless body around to Heifer #205’s front so that she could process and come to terms with what had happened, returning her more expeditiously to a healthy state of mind and body. It was a mournful moment and I could feel the air of exhaustion, sorrow, and defeat radiating from Heifer #205.
Wyoming breeds hearty stock and no setbacks are impossible to overcome with the right mindset and determination.
Heifer #205 got a new name and a new avocation this week with the successful delivery of a healthy bull calf.
Heifers become cows with the birth of their second calf, and now Cow #205 also gets to enjoy the blessings of motherhood.
The little bull will also get to enjoy his blessings for another month until I travel up to Wyoming and help liberate his testicles and brand his hide. Enjoy them while you can little maverick.
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