The calendar does not say that it is officially summer just yet, but we consider the start of summer when the kids are out of school.
College life is requiring Isaac to continue school through the summer, but Walker has been out of school for two weeks now. Being done with homework and school projects has been a relief, but it has been replaced with all the necessities of summer on the farm.
Walker started a full-time job with a landscaping company, which also means that he is getting some over time in as well. Four farmers with 4 full-time jobs is certainly changing things around here.
We are about half way done with our first cutting of hay. It has been a little interesting figuring the schedule out because something always needs to be tedded or raked mid-day...when everyone is at work.
We have been lucky so far, and been able to get everything arranged.
We baled some pretty darn near perfect hay this weekend.
And that is saying something for first cutting in Ohio!
Our first attempt, we were plowing water in the hayfield after 2 inches of rain the previous day, but we got another window of dry weather this week where the ground was a little more dry.
We have had two calves since school was out.
First was Rain and her heifer calf, Rexa. The rain storm brought Rain into labor and she popped out her calf without any problems.
Rain is a very protective mother for the first week or so and will charge anyone that tries to go near her or her baby. She has calmed down now and Rain and Rexa are loving life grazing in the lush pastures.
Isaac noticed Cece in the early stages of labor on Tuesday night. He had to head back to school that night, but he stuck around here as long as we would let him.
He hates missing the action.
Little did we know what an eventful night that would turn into.
Cece's labor didn't progress as quickly as Rain's did, but she wasn't showing hard labor by the time we did our last check at 11:30 p.m., so we weren't really concerned. Daniel felt for the calf, but couldn't feel anything, so we knew she just needed more time.
I got up at 1:30 a.m. to check on her and immediately knew something wasn't right. By this time she was in hard labor with contractions every few minutes, but she was not making any progress and I could not see the sack or any feet. I woke Daniel up to check her and he was able to feel the calf, but all he felt was the tail.
We knew the calf was breech, but also folded in half, so we couldn't even pull the back feet. While checking her, the birth sack also broke and we knew from the look and smell of the fluid that the situation was not good. Daniel did not feel any movement from the calf, so we were pretty sure it was dead.
We couldn't get ahold of the vet, so we decided to call OSU Veterinary Hospital. This is the first time that we have ever had to take one of our animals to OSU, but boy are we glad they were available. Cece had been up in the chute, but Daniel let her out and she immediately went down. We had the trailer backed up to the barn and were ready to head out and we couldn't get her up.
We woke Walker up to help us because the only other option was to use straps and the tractor to load her. We had lost a calf, but we were NOT going to lose this cow.
Cece was having continual contractions and here we were yanking and tugging on her. Finally, she stood and we got her about half way to the trailer and she wouldn't budge. I don't think we could have been more relieved when she finally stepped up into that trailer. She had done her part and it was up to us to get her the rest of the way.
We arrived at OSU at about 3:30 a.m., two hours after we discovered the calf was breach. We weren't able to go back to the clinic with Cece because of Covid, so we stood out in the parking lot pacing and trying to see in the windows.
The vet finally came out and we were bracing for the worst. Our hearts sank when she told us it was a heifer. It is always hard to lose a calf, but losing heifer calves is that much harder.
But we didn't understand her....she had to repeat that the calf was alive!
We couldn't believe it. She is our miracle calf...so of course we named her Miracle.
They gave Miracle a dose of colostrum and an hour later we were headed home with Cece and her new calf.
About half way home, Daniel's alarm went off. That is a surreal feeling....especially for people who do not do well without sleep.
We got home about 5:15 a.m. and woke Walker up again (he normally gets up for work at 4:30 a.m., so we let him sleep in a little bit) to help carry the calf to the barn. Daniel's back was just about ready to give out after all the tugging on Cece and he was already in his work clothes and didn't want to have to change again.
Daniel got back in the truck and headed straight to work while I headed upstairs to get a couple hours of sleep. One of the benefits of having a hybrid job is that I can call off and work from home when I need to. I crashed into bed with the sun rising and the birds singing...but it's nothing a pillow over the head can't drown out.
I think it took all of us the rest of the week to recover, but boy was it worth it.
Cece and Miracle are doing great.
Rexa and Miracle are our first two heifer calves out of 4 Wiley Sir Smith and we are thoroughly impressed.
In between all the big events are the normal events of summer.
Walker is up each morning at 4:30 a.m. to wash his 4-H steer before he heads off to work. His evenings are consumed with washing more cows and chores. Many nights we are in bed before he even gets home.
Dinner is sometimes as a family, sometimes with just a few of us and leftovers waiting for the late ones, and sometimes it's just too late to even eat.
Miniature Hereford Junior Nationals is just two weeks away and we are so not ready.
The cows...well it is what it is.
Isaac and Walker submitted some of their projects yesterday...yes, on the deadline, and the rest of the project...well, we'll see if they can manage to get them done.
We live each day to the fullest and pack the hours full to the brim.
We get done what we can...and the rest...oh well.
Maybe tomorrow...maybe not.
Each day is a gift and no matter how tired, hot, grumpy, frustrated, or overwhelmed we are...
We wouldn't be anywhere but here.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.