Mabelle’s Calf

Mabelle of the Maternity Ward decided yesterday was a good day to have her long-awaited first calf. You’ll remember she’s the one who,

“has been looking forward to this moment all her life. When not eating hay, she can be found knitting little booties and receiving blankets”

Mabelle saw Harland leave, so she decided this would be a good time to give birth without unwanted “interference” from the male human.

It was a difficult birth as the calf was rather large, but she managed it at last. She got to her feet right away and cleaned it up thoroughly talking to it softly, encouraging it to stand. At last, a little calf of her very own to raise and love.  All was right with her world ……. for a couple hours.

Then Harland showed up.

“Rats, it’s that pesky farmer. What does he want?” she thought.

He picked up her baby, (“he’s touching my baby….argh…human germs“), and took it into the barn. (“ok, so this isn’t so bad, some privacy for me and junior“)

Then Harland noticed that the calf hadn’t nursed, so he tried to feed it some colostrum. But Mabelle wouldn’t have any of it. She threatened Harland by waving her head at him bad-temperedly and tap dancing around – common behavior for a cow who’s had several calves, but not so common for a first timer like Mabelle.

“Horrible, horrible!  He’s doing things to my precious baby!”

So Harland put her in a separate pen from the calf for his own safety, and proceeded to feed the calf colostrum, dip it’s unbilical cord stump in iodine to prevent joint ill, and give it a pill for scours – all just preventative medicine. When he was done, he let Mabelle back into the pen with her baby and left the two of them alone.

Mabell ran to her calf.

“Oh..Oh…are you ok Junior?  What did that mean nasty man do to you? I’ll protect you, don’t you worry.”



“I’ll be here to save you from the wolves and hyenas.”

I’ll stay right here…never leave your side.”

 Me:  “Uh, Mabelle….don’t you think you might be overreactinig just a little?”

Mabelle: “Insolent female human.”

Me:  “Mabelle, we don’t even have wolves or hyenas, and Harland was only helping your calf. He’s trying to make sure your baby doesn’t get any illnesses after all.”

Mabelle:  “Well… ok…..I guess it’s alright then…but he left disgusting human germs all over my baby.”

 Me:  “You’re a nervous Nellie, but that’s ok, we know you’ll be a good attentive mother.”

Mabelle:   “I heard that! I’m am not a nervous Nellie! Out, OUT…begone HUMAN!”

Me:  “Ok ok…..geez.”


So that’s 5 heifers down, and 5 more to go. Stay tuned.

And everyone have a Blessed Holy Thursday today!



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

You may also like...

12 Responses

  1. Tina says:

    First, Happy Holy week everyone. Second…what the heck is scour besides what you do to a sink? Sorry, I am a City Slicker….

    • Suzanne says:

      Really bad diarrhea, a calf killer in a just a few days time. So all the calves get a pill for it right away as a preventative.
      Blessed Holy Thursday to you Tina!

  2. Alyse says:

    So.. does the cord dry up and fall off on it’s own? Or will Momma lick it off?

    Curious if you have a cow named Elsie..

    I’m just loving all these births.

    • Suzanne says:

      It dries up and falls off in a few days.
      Don’t have any cows named Elsie…but will keep the name in mind…Hmmmmm….

  3. I love all your cow stories!!

  4. Kathy says:

    Another beautiful calf. I love how all the mothers have their own personalities! Half-way there, Suzanne.

    • Suzanne says:

      The funny thing is that cows really do have personalities of their own. Some are very calm mothers, some are bad mothers and don’t take care of their calves very well, while others are like Mabelle: over-concerned and little worry warts. They’re hard for us to work around because they are more likely to hurt us, but they are the good mothers too.

  5. Louise S says:

    Very sweet momma and baby. I’m just gonna throw this out there, but I predict a new baby on Easter Sunday……… 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      One of the heifers was looking off into the distance and pondering something last night. Harland thinks I’m silly, but I swear they act like this in the days leading up to their labor. So we’ll see.

  6. Aw, little calf had to sit down cause his little legs were too tire! They are just so sweet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.