Well, I am officially a farmer's wife...
A couple of weeks ago, we purchased a pregnant Dexter cow. Dexters are one of the smallest cattle breeds and they are known for being hearty (good considering our climate), grazing similarly to goats on fewer acres and for having a docile temperament. All good for this family!
My dad and Duane picked up Minnie-Moo (Mina's name choice) and we were quite excited to greet her, although she didn't think the "moooove" was so much fun. She is cute as can be but there is one dilemma... she has rather pointy horns. Hmmm, I'd better establish a good relationship with her before I attempt milking her. Speaking of which, would you believe my father found us a device called "Udderly EZ Milking maching"? How awesome is that?? Well, for this pun queen, I found it very amoooozing.
As the past couple of weeks have progressed, Minnie has become increasingly more at ease on the Vaags farm. Even the goats peek over their pen to greet her now and again... that is, if Maggie isn't too busy butting poor little Libby around in there!
Tonight, Duane left to work his night shift and he warned us that he thought Minnie was going into labour... great. I've never seen a cow in labour before. What if she needs help? What do I do? Shall I offer to hold her horn?
Mina and I ventured out at 9:00 pm to check on her and as we walked into the pen, it appeared that her water was breaking. Great timing, eh? Next she was arching her back and was clearly not having a fun time. We stuck around for about twenty minutes then finally let her be. I called a family friend who manages cattle and he advised that if I didn't see a little nose and feet within the hour, to reach in and check if a nose and feet could be felt nearby... and if needed, to pull the poor calf out.
Pardon? Wouldn't it be my luck that as my arm is half way in there, Minnie would turn around and hoof me with her horns?? Then where, pretell, would I land with one arm stuck in the cow? The image in my head was not pretty... but I was willing for the sake of the cow and that calf.
So twenty minutes ago, I changed into some "I don't care if this gets cow poop and discharge all over it" clothes (mostly Duane's stuff) and headed out with Mina to see if our Minnie needed some help.
Thank God almighty we walked in to find her licking her baby calf!!!
So I didn't have to stick my arm anywhere undesirable, but surely the fact that I was WILLING makes me a good farmer's wife, n'est-ce pas??
In passing, am I ever glad that we as humans don't have to lick our own babies clean after birthing... how's that for leaving you with a disturbing thought? God bless everyone! And man o man is nature ever fascinating!