Last Sunday while I was away at my Utah concealed carry class, at long last our herd matron Ruby had her calf.
If you remember, I had tucked Ruby into the barn/corral for a couple of days while some nasty weather rolled through. However once the weather passed, and since she showed no signs of calving, I released her. Naturally the baby was born when I wasn't home (though Don and the girls were).
Ruby is a calm and experienced mother (this is her seventh or eighth calf) and I have no concerns about her having the calf in the pasture. Unless we're expecting bad weather, that is.
It's a healthy little heifer and our first black calf of the year. We're calling her Alice.
Look at the size of that udder! Cows always bag up enormously around birthing time.
Alice in Wonderland?
This brings the calf tally for the year up to six so far: five heifers and a bull calf. Jet is due with her calf within the next few weeks, and Matilda is due in September.
Monday, when Alice was just a day old, all the other calves started running around, having a great time.
Little Alice clearly wanted to join in the fun, but at 24 hours old, her legs were still a bit too wobbly. So she kept giving these little hippity-hop half-leaps to show her enthusiasm. Very cute.
Meanwhile we had a bit more weather roll through, a storm cell big enough that we unplugged computers, just to be safe.
Soon the rain moved in.
In twos and threes, the animals all moved toward the shelter of the barn.
Soon everyone was cozied up under the roof.
Everyone, that is, except Ruby and Alice.
Ruby led the way into the barn.
But wait! Someone got left behind! "Mama...?"
Ruby quickly noticed her calf's absence and went searching.
Within a few seconds, they were both under shelter.
In the next few days, the weather in Idaho is making a huge shift. Rather than cool and rainy, we're heading into hot and dry. By Monday, rumor has it, we're heading for 99F.
Ug. I hate hot weather. Thankfully we have the barn to offer some nice shade for the critters.