And Now A Cow

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.

Kara and Roe assist in the difficult delivery. Blood, sweat and tears all before breakfast.

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.

Heifer #205 and her stillborn calf a year ago.

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.

Cow #205 and her healthy bull calf today.

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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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.