I Asked Her To Let Him Live

Two days before Easter, I found myself crouched down in a make shift pen beside a very pregnant and very sick Jersey cow.

“Your too late,” my brother had told me. Another momma cow had given birth the night before to a bull calf. They were both healthy and well in a birthing pen on the other side of the barn. But this Jersey cow had laid down a few weeks ago and despite the advice of the vet and the medications to keep her from getting pneumonia, I could hear the gurgle in her breath.

I can’t say I blame her. Had I gotten that big, I think I’d lay down too and get so heavy I couldn’t stand up on my own. Of course, over the stretch of weeks my brother had lifted her to her feet, but she refused to stand.

Now, on what many people call “Good Friday” I ran my hand down over this cow’s cheek and messaged one of her ears.

Easter is a story of life. It’s the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection. Yet, many of us forget it all started with his death.

As I moved closer to this momma cow, I ran my hand down her neck and pressed my hand into her bulging stomach. It pressed back. There was a little life inside this Jersey cow waiting to enter this world. What would happen if this momma died before her baby was born?

So I asked her, “For the sake of the life inside you, please let him live before you die.”

I guess it’s pretty silly talking to cows. No more sillier then a horse whisperer talking to a horse. If they can whisper to horses, I can talk to cows.

Whether it was the words I’d spoken to her, or the fact the next morning marked this calf’s due date, I’ll never know. What I do know is when I heard the alarm and the coffee pot perk in the morning I was ready to stay in bed. Then I changed my mind. Not living as close to the farm anymore, I knew my opportunity to go back down the farm may not come later that day and so I hauled my butt out of bed and jumped in the truck with my dad to go down to the farm.

It was one of the coldest days’ we’ve had since the last snow.

Before I even got into the door of the milk house, my brother was there. “You’ll need to grab some gloves and go deliver a calf. That is unless you want to milk the cows while I do it.”

I grabbed some gloves.

Her water had broken and tiny hooves were pressing out. Momma cow was trying, but she needed a little help.

I won’t go into the birthing details, as I know some of you are a little faint of heart. I don’t blame you. There are some things that gross me out, too.

So here he is.

celebration of life

I didn’t know it would be a “him” until after he was born.

For now, all that matters is that he lives.

To be continued…

 

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Cow vs Price of Milk

When milk prices drop shouldn’t the price of what’s producing it?

Simple economics tells us that when we have a surplus, prices can drop, and when we have a demand greater than the supply the product becomes more valuable and increases.

So what does that have to do with the prices of cows?

Let’s think of it like a shopper, shall we?

I go to the store. I buy milk. I buy cheese and grab that pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I may even grumble at paying $3.59 for my gallon of milk.

The factory should just produce more milk, right?

Go tell it to the cow!

It’s never a good idea to assume. So, we’ll say ‘most’ people know milk comes from cows.

Now, let’s think of it as a farmer (or the farmer’s wife, or daughter… you choose).

If the price of milk drops. It drops for the farmer. Hence, the pay check just got smaller.

So lower milk prices means the farmer needs to ship more milk in order to get a bigger pay check.

The farmer most likely has a family that needs fed, too.

It’s not like he can go out to the cows in the barn and say, “My dearest cows, I know your doing the best you can to help fill the tank, but could you eat a little more and produce more milk this week? Little Joe needs a new pair of glasses.”

While cows are known to respond to some commands, a pep talk isn’t one of them.

Which leaves the dairy farmer with a choice:

1. Buy more cows

2. Cut back on the feed bill (in the barn and in the house)

What do you think the farmer chooses?

What would you choose?

My guess is, the farmer buys more cows.

Seeing that the price of milkĀ  has fallen for all the milk producers, and not just the farmer, there are going to be many farmers looking to add a few more cows to their herd.

There’s that economics thing again. Demand = higher price.

Cows are a lot like Apple products ( I mention this due to the new release of Apple’s smart watch). Remember when the iphone came out and everyone stood in line and Apple ran out? There isn’t always enough of a product to go around.

Cows are God’s creation. They cost about three to four times more than a smart watch or even an iphone for that matter.

This is good news for those selling cows, bad news for the dairy farmers, and has nothing to do with the price of milk in the store.

But it will.

Anyone want to forecast the economics on that in the future?

An Introduction

Transition, the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

I believe there comes a time in our lives when we all go through a period of transition. For some of us it’s choosing a new career or deciding to move to a new place, but for many of us it isn’t always about discovering who we are, or who we want to be, but reclaiming what once was.

Dairy Cow

This evening I stood outside the milk house door listening to the rain ‘ting’ on the metal roof and gazed past the parked machinery and into the empty fields awaiting the cows to come from behind the house and gather in the south wing of barn. As the rain rippled across the puddles in the drive and a goat brayed at me from a calf hut by the tree, I felt more like myself than I have in a very long.

I come and visit on weekends and holidays, each time knew this was the place I belong. This is the place I should have never left.

This is the place where I have returned.

After fourteen years, no place has ever felt like home as it does at this moment with the rain beading down my arms and dampening my clothes. It’s cleansing in a way.

“It doesn’t matter what I do, your never happy,” my husband has often accused. And, he would be right. I’m never happy, because my happy is here.

I’ve returned to the farm for the summer, bringing my urban tainted children along with me. Rather than them hear the stories of growing up on a farm, they will at least have this time to experience it for themselves.

Video games will be few. Texting/ messaging– what’s that?

I believe that every great adventure needs to be recorded, this is where you’ll find mine.

When a heifer has her first calf, she becomes a cow. If you ever look at a cow’s registration certificate (birth certificate) every cow has a Dame (mother) and a Sire (father). As a mother of three, for this purpose of this blog, I guess you could say I’m a dame.

As the daughter of a dairy farmer, I suppose that makes me a Dairy Dame, and thus the name of this site.

Welcome to my adventure, I invite you to come along on this journey in the pursuit of happiness, discovery, and farm life.