Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Farmer's Initiation

Our first calf was born mid-afternoon on Saturday after the coldest night of the year.

The mama is a heifer, an extremely protective first-timer.

After licking her baby and following it around the shelter for three hours, our guys were finally able to safely snatch the calf and carry it away to dry it off and warm it up ... in the house!!??
What a farmer doesn't do!!

In three hours the calf had still not gotten a warm drink, the colostrum that it should have had within its first 30 minutes of life. By this time, the calf was hypothermic. Corbyn rubbed it down with some old towels to dry it off and stimulate circulation.
A neighbor had a bottle of colostrum (from a dairy farm) in his freezer for just such an emergency at his farm - we bought it off him, thawed it out and got it into our little calf. Then Corbyn spent the night downstairs near the calf pen (cardboard floor & plywood walls - at the back door) feeding it more when it woke up.

In the morning they returned the calf to its mama. By noon, the calf had still not sucked so Ken confined the mama with corral panels, fed it some luscious alfalfa hay and started milking her to get more colostrum to feed the calf. It worked! Amazing!

Monday morning they got the calf started on sucking and now cow & calf are managing on their own.

There were many anxious thoughts & moments on our part, but again it was an opportunity to have faith in God. He is the Creator, the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills. We serve Him and it was only when we considered this calf "ours" that we experienced anxiety. So Sunday, we decided to go to Church and let God take care of His new heifer calf & her mama - but it was a conscious decision we struggled with for a bit. A precident we had to set, a principle we had to base on faith.

We did all we knew to do - that was our part as stewards of His provision - then we could rest, peacefully confident that He could take care of this calf & her mama.

Timothy named this little calf First Born - how fitting in every way - it is truly God's little heifer calf.

In the midst of the struggle, when the chances looked bleak that the calf could survive its hypothermia I was touched to witness almost-five-year-old Bronlin crawl out from under a table in the basement and confidently state twice that "God will help that calf to get better, 'cause I prayed to Him".

I believe God honored Bronlin's child like faith.

"For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills."
Psalm 50:10

1 comment:

Diana said...

Our children learned invaluable lessons from owning and loving animals. Lessons not taught in textbooks. Looks like your guys did a good job. Yes it is so easy to get attached to them!