Country Living Series

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday surprise

This morning when I went out to feed, we had yet another surprise in the bull pen:


Jet, in with the bull in the bull pen, had a calf! A sweet little bull. When I saw him, he was still a bit damp and had just staggered to his feet.


Okay, now this one surprised me, just as much as when little Ninja was born. We had no idea Jet was pregnant. In fact -- here's the thing -- we had Jet in the bull pen because she was destined for a date with the butcher very very soon. This little calf is literally her stay of execution.

But it puzzled me she had a calf at all. We deliberately didn't breed her because we planned to put her in the freezer. Jet is one of our original herd matrons, and over the years she's gotten quite cranky with the other cows (though thankfully not with us). She only became Samson's pen-made in mid-February, when Shadow so unexpectedly popped out Ninja. Having her in with the bull proved to be an excellent arrangement, since it meant she didn't boss around the other cows. But how did she get pregnant nine months ago...?

I've kept a "weather diary" for the past eleven years, so I went back to last June 19 and found my answer: It was the first and only time Samson had broken out of the bull pen.


He must have had the time of his life the night of the Great Escape. And, during that night, Jet clearly must have been the source of his motivation to get out of the pen.


It's worth noting, by the way, that Samson also bred Amy (whose calf Hector was just born) during that night of escape. What a wild night of fun for the bull!

So anyway, this would explain why I wasn't watching Jet for signs of impending birth -- I didn't think she was in heat the time Samson escaped. Oh well, no biggee, she just got a stay of execution.

Jet is a calm and experienced mother, and the little calf -- though chilly from early-morning temps of 25F -- was doing well. The only thing we did was remove the hot wire from around the bull pen, which was turned off anyway.


I checked mama and baby frequently during the day. At one point Jet had just dropped the afterbirth and was (gack) in the process of chewing it down.


A raven also discovered the afterbirth, and flew down to snag a piece which he then carried up to a tree to eat.



I'm not worried about Samson being aggressive to the baby. Bulls are usually pretty decent about such things, and if he got out of line, Jet would handle him (especially with those horns!).


He's a pretty little thing, very healthy.



I tell ya -- life is full of surprises.


This is our third little bull calf in a row. I need a name! What shall we call our little Good Friday calf?

40 comments:

  1. How about Savior since without Easter we wouldn't have one?

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  2. How about Savior since without Easter we wouldn't have one?

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  3. Good Friday is a few days early, but Emmaus sounds like a nice name for a cow, if perhaps a bit pretentious sounding.

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  4. "Good Friday" sounds kinds neat.

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  5. You folks seem to be going through a spell of an extra helping of Gods blessings. I'm really happy for you. And thank you, Patrice, for sharing your lives with those of us out here in the miasma.

    I think a good name would be "Peak-a-boo". I don't know why, but I saw the pictures and that's what popped into my mind.

    Will Robertson,
    Ridgecrest, CA

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  6. How about Warden? Since he issued the stay of execution.

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  7. Eclipse.... because from noon until 3 pm the sun refused to give light as He hung on the cross for our transgressions.

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  8. You could call him Joshua. It means deliverer, which would reference both Good Friday and the fact that Jet has been saved by him!

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  9. "...he tore the bars away..." Samson
    " Up from the grave (s)he arose" (Jet - stay of execution)
    " with a mighty triumph o'er his (her) foes (Jet)
    " he arose a Victor from the dark domain from the dark domain(Jet)"

    I like the name Victor :)

    Brenda

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    1. eh, should have previewed! only one dark domain :)
      Brenda

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  10. How about Reprieve, as in from the governor...

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  11. How about 'Stay' as in a stay of execution..... or Governor, as in the one who can forestall execution. That said, the little bull calf could be Pilate who gave Barabbas a reprieve.

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  12. I too like Joshua and it's meaning.

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  13. FJD= Fence Jumping Daddy

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  14. I was going to say Joshua, too.

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  15. Name him Friday, like in Robinson Crusoe. His friend was named for the day they met.

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  16. Connor, short for Consequences of Fun.

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  17. Can't resist: That's a lot of bull(s). B-)

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  18. how about a little spanish....haysus....of course spelled jesus....
    good friday after all

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  19. I vote for Victor! Can't you just see him growing up into this good and important name? It fits him perfectly! I got a good laugh out of the other clever suggestions, tho!!
    Vera

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  20. how about Salvation?

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  21. I think he should be the Governor. first time to your blog, thanks for the smiles. elizabeth

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  22. I like Friday although I see it has already been recommended. So now there are two votes for Friday. Cindy

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  23. salvador de madre and call him sal.

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  24. Justice because of the stay of execution. :)

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  25. Sherlock, since it was a mystery as to how momma got pregnant.

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  26. He's dark and a surprise - my vote is for Blackout, though I'll go with Victor as a 2nd place.

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  27. Several good ideas already here. I will add the name Mystery to the list of possibilities. Mystery, since it took some sleuthing to get to the bottom of his origins, and also a reference to our faith in Christ, and His 'Relevation of the Mystery' (Ephesians 3:1-7). But I must say, Victor seems a great choice as well.

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  28. Ok, like all the originality ... Seems as though you have been blessed with surprises this spring. I just,like the name Mo, since he's one of the three baby Bulls aka stooges...lol...have a wonderful Easter.

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  29. While at church (hanging head with embarrassment) I suddenly thought, "Here's George Jetson" (...Jet's son). Then I went back to singing all the great Easter songs.
    Brenda

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  30. No thought on a name. I just thought of "poor" Samson. I just realized, Samson is not the first man to break out for a fun night on the town and then end up with, "surprise" a female and child in his pen. He is like "how did this happen?"

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  31. Columbo, he always knew who dun it.

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  32. Did I miss the post telling us what you finally named this
    little guy? I read you site everyday, and have been waiting.

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