Back Valley Ranch

All natural, free range, antibiotic and hormone free, organic quality, grass fed beef.

Back Valley Ranch

Birthing season starts

Well birthing season this year has officially started off with a bang. For the longest time no one would have a baby. Now they’re popping out left right and centre. We had a couple born on Tuesday, then Wednesday was the big day. We had 6 born that day. Two of them were first time calvers and one of them we weren’t even expecting to calve for about 2 weeks. Just goes to show that you always have to expect the unexpected here.

I always joke about how Murphy s Law follows Jerry and I everywhere on the ranch. On Wednesday we left briefly to help out another ranch with a baby and I said now that we’ve left the ranch something will calve while we’re gone. If that happens I’m going to name that baby Murphy. Sure enough, we got home and there was Murphy laying on the ground with his momma Stripes licking him dry. Damn Murphy s Law; at least it all worked out this time. You’ll hear a lot more about our friend Murphy throughout the blog, he likes to pop up a lot.

Ruby one of our prize mommas had a backwards baby. I’ve never had to help pull out a backwards baby before but it can be a scary process. You have to pull the baby by the back legs, but there’s a tricky part. Once you see the hips then that means the umbilical cord is cut and the baby no longer has any oxygen. You have approx one minute to get that baby out of the cow before they suffocate. We managed to save Ruby’s baby and little Breeze doing quite well now.

Although the weather has warmed up quite a bit. Wednesday was a warm but very windy day. Four out of six of the babies born were too cold to stay outside so in the house they came. Everyone was pretty well behaved in the house. Thankfully they were only in one at a time though and not all together.

Yesterday (Thursday) we were so sure that it would be quieter. Boy were we wrong. True there were only three babies born compared to yesterdays record breaking six. However, we had ourselves another backwards calf. This time it was not so easy. The mother, Peanut was pretty upset and didn’t want to cooperate with us. She ended up running all over the yard until we were finally able to catch her, that’s not so good for baby if they do that. After catching and securing Peanut, we ran into the next issue. This baby inside of her is huge. It was looking to be a slow pulling which is no good. Jerry and I secured the legs and pulled with all of our strength. Out popped this 100lb baby girl and she wasn’t breathing. Oh no, I did not want to loose this beautiful little girl after all that work. Thankfully Jerry was able to get her breathing but she’s not out of the woods yet.

I named the big girl Tinker and we immediately brought her into the the house as she was shivering and barely breathing. I’ll admit, I really didn’t think that poor Tinker was going to make it. But she’s a fighter. We had her in the house all night, bottle fed her milk from her mother and shook her awake every time she looked like she was slipping away. Much to my surprise, Tinker is still alive and with us today. I wish I could say she’s out of the woods and she’s doing great but I can’t. She’s outside now under our deck in a nice bed of hay. She walked around a little bit today but she’s still having a lot of trouble breathing. However, her tongue is no longer hanging out of her mouth and she’s breathing through her nose, so that’s an improvement. She was without oxygen during birth for too long and it’s taken a lot out of her. I will keep you all updated and hopefully there will be happy Tinker updates.

Unfortunately you usually can’t save every baby on the ranch. Things go wrong during birth or a calf is just too weak. We lost two last year. One was born in about -26 degress and although we got to her early after birth it was just too cold. That was another unexpected birth. The other one, Bruiser, was born and lived for about 9 days. Then one day he just got sick and died within 12 hours. We can’t tell you what was wrong with him, but sometimes that just happens. But Tinker is a fighter and I have high hopes that if she’s made it this far she’ll make it in life. Fingers crossed for little Tinker.