A new arrival, Dottie the milk cow has her baby, Lightning.

Jersey milk cow and new born calf
Dottie and her new baby calf, Lightning. This picture is from today, when the calf was a day old.

Normally a birth on the farm is a blessing but not a big deal. However with Dottie we had a lot of concern as she carried her baby to term. A few weeks ago we had the vet out to check all of our cows. Dottie was pregnant we knew but why not check her anyway and make sure things are progressing well. The vet checks, and says that the baby is dead and Dottie has to have emergency surgery to remove the dead fetus or Dottie will die as well. Yikes!

We finish our other cows and rush Dottie to the vet hospital to have surgery. Dottie is our only milk cow, and is the replacement for Maggie who we had to put down due to a broken back. Loosing her baby is pretty much a death sentence for Dottie as well so this whole event wasn’t one of our better days. So I get Dottie to the vet and he checks her one more time to make sure everything is the same and low and behold, the baby is now fine. The vet says she’s due any day, take her home and keep an eye on her. Talk about mixed emotions.

Well some weeks go by and no baby. Dottie’s bag swells to humongous proportions and still no baby. I woke up Saturday thinking I may have to take her back to the vet to find out what is going on. What if the baby really is dead. What if she can’t have the baby. Her bag is huge, that has to be hurting her. I walk out to the paddock to move the cows and see Dottie off away from the other cows in the distance, with a little calf circling her. This is what I saw.

The baby was only hours old, maybe hour old, just getting her feet under her and still wet from birth. She was very friendly, wobbly, and hungry. I checked on her all I could without interfering, and make arrangements to come back and bottle feed the calf that afternoon if she wasn’t able to nurse because for the time I was there, she wasn’t able to latch on. Like I said, Dottie’s bag was huge and it was tough for the little calf to lean down so low to nurse. Thankfully when I got home that afternoon, the little calf was nursing just fine and was dry and healthy. She was cavorting around the pasture and having a large time.

The Princess and I talked about the new calf and worked out a name. You see, the night the calf was born, we had a major thunderstorm here on the farm. Lightning knocked out our internet (as in burnt to a crisp components) and blew up our fence charger. The Princess decided that this little girl calf was to be named Lightning in honor of the storm on her birthday.

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