Friday, February 08, 2008

Introducing ... RAD's Naomi!

Well, I can't really say that I had time to do it ... but, today we took a few free moments and took off to the farm to see the latest additions to the Stoneyfield herd. As you may remember reading a couple days ago our first calf was born in a little bit of snow on Sunday afternoon. That was the heifer calf Naomi that you see in the pictures here. Then out of the blue a little bull calf was born on Wednesday as we were in the midst of receiving around a foot of snow! Yep, they chose great times to make an entrance.

RAD's Naomi was born to RAD's Victoria, which was the first Dexter we purchased this summer. We bought her with the understanding that she was bred and that she would calve roughly around this time. For Victoria this was her first calf and I would say that she handled things okay considering the weather. As best as we can tell she had the calf around 2:00 PM and it is only by the grace of God and the fact that my brother needed a ride to a Super Bowl party that we found her. After finding her we did take her away and warm her up because she wasn't making it up on her feet right away. As soon as she warmed up she was up and at 'em and took to nursing right away. Now she seems to be doing pretty well and is growing very quickly!

The bull calf born on Wednesday was born to Lazy J5 Bailey. I mentioned that this calf was out of the blue because we weren't expecting her to calve until March at the earliest. In fact we were under the impression that her calf was only around nine months old right now ... guess that isn't the case. She too picked a great day to calve and the calf needed some help warming up and getting away from the snow (12 inches). He just wouldn't figure out the nursing thing so we ended up milking Bailey (I'm not certain, but I think she may have been milked before) and bottle feeding the bull calf. We still haven't seen him nursing and had trouble getting him to take from the bottle today so we are keeping a close tab on him. But, he to seems to have quite a bit of energy and was bounding around tonight before dark.

I can say we learned quite a few things through these two calvings, but the biggest thing is more of what we confirmed rather than learned. We saw in these two births the vital importance of calving in schedule with nature and the seasons. This is just not a great time to try and talk care of a calf ... for the mother and the farmer! We are looking at April or May calvings and while there can be storms or weather issues in those seasons (snow, floods, thunderstorms) we can count on the season being slightly better. At least we know that the season must work most of the time because that is the time the animals have chosen. I'm already looking forward to the 2009 calving season when every calf will be a Stoneyfield calf and hopefully none of them will be born in February!


Steven said...

How do you ever leave the farm with those babies to play with?

balou said...

Congratulations from Germany. For me, a retired farmer and Limousin breeder it's a great pleasure reading your blog day for day, you take me back in the early days when I started my breed in the eighties.

Good Luck for you, your family and all your beasts.

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