Senior pictures and saving lives

Today we had a few minutes free after church, so I wanted to take a few pictures of my boys who are seniors in high school. I have taken the pictures for my boys as it has been too hard to schedule in a professional and the boys are usually not interested in smiling for a couple of hours. So we grab a few minutes here and there and snap a few.

The weather is pretty nice, the lighting mostly diffuse and we have a great old barn that I thought would make a good backdrop for a few shots. So the boys and I headed over after lunch and snapped a few pictures.

I kept playing with lighting and making the boys smile and then not smile... they started getting a little grumpy!
As we finished, we looked around at the cattle in the pen. A heifer was sprawled out in labor and seemed to be having trouble. As we got closer, we see that she has had the calf, but is lying with her feet slightly uphill and is unable to roll over to stand up! She needs help!!
In our good clothes, we run to help her...yes we were still wearing our muck boots...I wasn't planning to get feet in the pictures today. So Tyler helps the heifer roll onto her chest so she can stand up. But when she does, she is revved up and jogs dazedly away from her newborn bull calf.
So as Eric and I urge the heifer to follow her calf, Tyler grabs a hold of the calf and drags him into the barn where we lock them up together. As soon as the mama sees the calf, she investigates and sniffs him closely; then she begins licking him vigorously! She has it figured out. So we keep them penned up together until the baby gets a drink of colostrum and they both are well bonded.
Another crisis averted! Way to go, boys! Dress clothes don't slow us down--but they do need washed now.

We are expecting quite a few calves this week. Our first due date is next Saturday, but cattle bred for low birth weight calves usually come early. So we expect to have about 50 calves by next Saturday! I'll keep you posted to see if my estimate is right!

15 comments:

  1. Love it. I used to have an angus cow herd and sold them when I adopted my son from Guatamala, plus the factor I didn't own my pasture and it was getting too hard to find pasture for summer. Miss those Mommas and babies. Your growing them young men up right!

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    1. Thanks so much, Connie! I'm pretty proud of my boys!

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  2. Interesting that there are more calf pictures then senior pictures..... Nice!

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    1. Dang, Carol! You would notice that!!!! We still need to spend some time with the boys, but life is very busy! The yearbook, on the other hand, was getting ready to print with no pics of my boys. Details, details.

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  3. I love the matter of fact way you share this special moment. Glad you had the camera and the insight to capture and write about it. A lot of folks can relate, and yet millions more haven't experienced it. Good job.

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    1. Hahaha! it is often easier to photograph cows than kids!!

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  4. Aww...reality is always good! Congrats on the baby...he's a beaut!

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    1. mama and baby are doing fine now! He is a nice bull calf!

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  5. Great pictures! My boys won't "smile for hours" either! Glad all is well with the first calf of the year. Hope the rest of your calving season goes well. 50 in a week?! That is a lot of vigilance...

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    1. that wasn't the first calf...but it surprised us! We are up over 50 now...still 3 days to go before the first due date!

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  6. Good luck with those calves! I guess you'll be living in your muck boots with 50 calves coming.

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    1. Muck boots are my favorite!! Warm & dry feet--even if nothing else is dry!

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  7. Debbie, this is an amazing story with visuals and truly demonstrates your family's commitment to your animals and family ranch. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Katie

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  8. Came across your blog while searching for how to cast a broken leg on a calf. Saw your purple cast on your little calf. :) We splinted the leg with PVC, but it slipped off.
    I like your blog and will be following it. :) Especially this busy time of year. Calving! Yeah!

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