Excitement had been gradually mounting around the Frazer home as our newest addition to the animal “family” neared her calving date. Mocha’s nine months of pregnancy were really showing.
So far she had been an excellent cow – very gentle and laid back. One day, Evelyn took Amy along to do the chores.
At the beginning of April, Evelyn and I cleaned out the stall in the barn in preparation for the calf’s arrival.
Finally, the big day came. Around noon, I noticed Mocha was acting agitated, but it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that I realised that what I was seeing was the result of her being in labour. When we realised that, we all became excited. A number of us wanted to see the whole procedure. Things didn’t seem to be progressing any too quickly, however, so around 7:00 p.m., we all headed inside for an early family time of listening to John MacArthur so that we could be back out in time to see the action. Well, Mocha had other ideas! Though we were gone not much more than half an hour, our return to the barn revealed that to be plenty of time for Mocha to calve! It had obvious just occurred.
Notice the cell phone in the above picture – we immediately got on the phone with some dairy farming friends who walked us through what to do. Thank you T______ family! We would not be doing this without you!
After helping to dry the calf a little, we carried it off to a prepared stall on the other side of the barn. The next step was to get something for it to eat which of course meant milking Mocha. Mocha is turning out to be a really excellent cow. Despite a huge influx of people in the barn on top of just going through the trauma of her first calving, she was amazingly quiet and gentle.
Feeding the calf was both fun and interesting. A number of us tried our hand at it.
For the moment we seem only to have pictures of the girls with the cow and calf, the boys too have been involved. David helped feed the calf its first meal and he and Stephen did the milking this morning.
There has been some discussion about what to call the calf. A number of suggestions have come up: Beef, Hamburger, Milkshake, Smoked Ham (that was vetoed). As can probably be devined by the edible, mostly meaty, nature of the suggestions, this bull calf is destined either to be turned into food for us or to be sold and turned into food for someone else. So, readers, don’t get too attached to the pictures of the cute guy! The most interesting suggestion came from David who said we should call the calf, Caffeine. Then, since Mocha is now de-calfed, she should be called Cocoa. We have not yet settled on a name for it, though.
The calf, though wobbly last night is energetic today – jumping around in the little stall we have for him. Though we left him loose for the first night, he is now learning all about tethers and managing quite well. He doesn’t seem to mind photographers…
“Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” Psalm 50:10-11