Last week, I'd quit. This week, I'm back. It's funny, when you cast it all out on the wind, with a willingness, maybe even an eagerness, to see where the chips fall...they seem to fall as they should.
Surrender, cave, give-up, those words seem to have a defeated undertone. Change the words to believe, trust, or hands-off and the tone changes. The events change. The outcome...the intervention...is, well, it's divine.
That said, let me introduce you to our Wet Nurse & Retirement Program;
I'll continue, just like last year, to raise calves born at my friend's (mentor) raw milk dairy farm. But, instead of feeding them the traditional powdered, icky formula, I'll be utilizing a wet-nurse. I'm buying an otherwise premium and proven dairy cow that happens to be struggling with an issue or two. No deal breakers, just a little something that'sconsidered a big thing at a larger operation.
At our farm, wet-nurses will have the chance for a little redemption and a place to hang their cowbell. These girls will be favorites. Every dairyman (woman) has one or a few....favorite girls that he just doesn't want to send to the auction barn. Now he/she won't have to. They'll have a place at MY place. I'll take them off of suction and vacuum and turn them out with suckling calves.
If all goes well, and if the girls arrive pregnant, they'll deliver their own calves here and I'll start building a herd.
Without further ado....
This is our girl, our first Wet Nurse. Macy.
Wait, let me back up the truck. Last year I added two calves to the farm; black cow and brown cow. Here they are with pig-pig. Anyway, last year they're were bundles of joy, this year, they're adolescents and carry all the baggage that you'd expect any pre-teen to have.
I'd started a herd without a matriarch. I suspected there would be risk and issues, but I had to get my feet wet somehow. Two calves on bottle was plenty wet. This spring's early arrival brought plenty of unrest with two boys...unsupervised.
Boys, meet your education.
Oh wow, she's big...really big....much bigger than that 2-legged gal with blue boots. I wonder if she'll let us get away with anything?
Macy's arrival immediately restored order with my calves. They have their first "flight zone" and they even went old school with the manners...I'm a child to be seen, not heard. No more crowding, pushing or showing off. It's a pleasure again to walk the pasture with the boys.
Now, getting Macy here! That was a trip. Come along, I promise a few good laughs and omg's.
We had a 1400 pound cow, two 100 pound calves, a truck, a mid-sized hatch-back, and a 50 mile separation from origin to destination. Let the games begin.
Make sure Macy will let the calves nurse. Check.
For the record, Vicki (my mentor) hooked up two calves. See brown calf hiding behind black calf? Vicki's behind the camera in this shot, but she's the rockstar.
Next, transportation. Check.
I know what you're thinking right now. We all were thinking it; Get lots of pictures, no one will believe it otherwise.
Squeeze a 1400 Guernsey into the truck. Check.
That's Vicki, ready to go...I wish I'd had the video running when she sent Macy up the chute, because it would have captured Vicki's confidence and Craig's thinking out loud. Whilst craig was still kicking dirt piles trying to sort out how the trip up the chute would go, Vicki said " Go, go, go," and with both hands started pushing a three quarter ton cow.
Watch out, we're coming....
Wait, I think I should lay down some straw...oh hell....
It wouldn't be a great show if there wasn't a peanut gallery. Check.
Even Aussie was giggling...and hiding under the truck.
Once Macy was in the truck, the gallery started singing. moo. moo. moo. Which is better than boo.boo.boo.
There she is....
Tie her down, lock her down and hit the road. It was reported that every car that passed the transport vehicle took pictures with their phones. haha. Macy could very well be the most photographed guernsey ever and on a facebook page near you.
Anyway, if that wasn't exciting enough, when we got to my farm, it just kept getting better. Thank goodness for seasoned dairymen (and women) that know what the hell they're doing. First, Macy was too big to turn around and she was having no part up backing out of the truck.
Try it again with her head held about the rack...
Just like that.
Did you see how hands-off all of that was? Amazing.
I'm happy to report that Macy stepped right up beyond wet nurse and assumed an adoptive mother role for our two new calves. Nice empty utter on Mace, sleepy calves, drunk on mama's milk and soft-spoken yearlings in the pasture.