Patty, our new Jersey heifer, was born on May 1. Daisy went into labor late afternoon and calved within an hour.
Patty is the first calf born on our farm and we were so excited! We checked on Daisy every half hour all day long. I knew she was ready to calve: The calf moved into birthing position making her udder look like she was going to explode, her pin-bone ligaments loosened; and her vulva appeared to be pulsating. Once labor started, I felt so sorry for her as her teats were literally gushing colostrum during contractions. Daisy eagerly lapped up what splashed on her between contractions.
Thinking I had a couple hours before the baby arrived I came in for a cup of coffee. Fifteen minutes later, with a cup of coffee in hand, I headed back to the barnyard, and little Patty was already on her way into the world. (I think most women would be very envious as to how quickly the baby was born!) John, of course, jumped in to help matters along a little quicker.
I was amazed at how quickly little Patty tried to stand and nurse! She wasn’t even completely cleaned off before she was nursing! She was one hungry little calf!
The following morning I headed out to the barn to check on mama and baby – both were doing just fine – all cuddled up together keeping warm. Daisy gave me a soft moo to let me know all was well. She let me milk her a bit to relieve some of the pressure, ate a bit of hay, then went out to graze a bit and spend some time with Dolly (our other Jersey heifer) leaving me to babysit! I was one proud grandmoo being entrusted with her baby so soon after her birth!
Later that morning Daisy had Patty out in the barnyard walking around! She is so curious, running around checking out everything in sight! I can’t figure out if I am envious that calves are up running around within hours when it takes human babies a couple years to be as active, or if I would be horrified to have to deal with such sudden activeness!
Aunt Dolly seems as taken with Patty as I am! Truthfully, I was a bit worried about how Dolly would react toward the calf as she is so attached to Daisy, and Daisy has been mothering her for the last couple months since Dolly came to live on the farm. I expected some jealousy and maybe a bit of pushing – but nothing happened except some sniffing, licking and nuzzling from both Dolly and Patty!