My stove is threatening fire, and now heifers are calving. 

I am so tired it ain’t even funny. I literally fell asleep in the middle of eating my Ramen Noodles yesterday. It’s my own fault I’m so tired because I’ve been staying up late at night writing, and looking for jobs for writers online. I FINALLY finished this one part in my book that was giving me so much trouble, so the next two or three chapters should go by pretty easy. I really shouldn’t say it will be easy though because that’s what I thought THIS chapter would be like! 

Usually I am a big cookie baker in the winter, and at least once a week I like to make a nice meal for my dad and me. But our stove was starting to smell like burnt wiring whenever I used the oven. So I transitioned into making no-bake cookies until dad got the time to look at it. But then, it started to smell whenever I used the stovetop. It’s so bad now that I can’t cook at all, so it’s down to the croc-pot and the microwave. 

Currently, I’m taking classes for the GED course in town for my senior year of high school and then I am going to begin classes at WNCC in the spring. Right now I don’t get home until 1pm and I am way too tired to cook, so on the weekends, I make meals ahead of time so that I can make sure my dad gets enough protein, but if I can’t use the stove, no pre-made meals. Sure, I can make a big meal in a crock pot, but none of those are a meal that my dad can grab and go in a hurry. 

Now, the ranch news…

We have a pen that is specifically for old, or skinny cows, or skinny heifers, and they get fed really good hay and lots of grain. Last week, an old cow in that pen had a large, beefy calf. She is a good sized cow, who is in good condition, but we had not been watching her as close as we were usually would because we had a heifer that we thought would calve first. Well, the cow was just dropping that calve onto the ground right as I got to her pen during chores, and since it wasn’t very cold out and she’s a mature cow, I did not stay and watch the calf get up and suck. Big mistake

It was getting dark and I wanted to have all chores done so that my dad wouldn’t have to do any since he’d been working at the neighbor’s place all day. After dad was home, I told him about the cow and new calf, and he went to check on them. It had been about an hour, and the calf had still not gotten up, so we took it into the house and put it in the bathtub to rub it down and warm it up. It wasn’t shivering (this is bad), and it’s breathing was wet sounding(this is very bad). After several minutes of vigorous rubbing, it developed a pattern wher it would stop breathing for several long seconds until you gave it a shove on it’s side. 

My dad said that someone(he didn’t say who) had told him that it was bad for them to be held upside down. I commented several times on how unreasonable that was, because if the calf has fluid in its lungs from birth, how else are you going to get those fluids out? About twenty minutes later, the calf stopped breathing altogether and he was completely unresponsive. By now dad had finally decided to completely disregard the statement of the idiot who had told him not to hold them upside-down, and picked it up. 

Fluid came pouring out the little guy’s nose and mouth. The calf had been drowning. With how much came out, I honestly don’t know how he’d been breathing at all! The calf started to shakily breath again, but he continued to stop until dad performed something akin to CPR.

We had the fluid out of his lungs, and his body dried off, but it was already too late. The calf was dead. 

Dad thinks that it was probably a hard birth, because he was such a large calf. The corn and other grain the cow had been getting would have contributed to his larger than normal size. 

It is depressing tho think that if I had stayed to watch the calf like I would have on any other day, I would have noticed that he wasn’t getting up and I would have brought it in. And maybe if we had held it up from the start to drain the fluid from it’s lungs it could have still still made it. 

We’ve got a little over one hundred cows at the moment, but those cows are our only income right now. Our ranch is small enough, that the loss of even one calf is felt, especially when it is a calf that had the potential to be the best in the bunch like this calf probably would have been. Hopefully we don’t lose any to scours or coyotes this spring. A few weeks go we also had a Mountain lion in our area, and I am not so sure that one of the coyotes I saw wasn’t half wolf, because he was enormous, and a lot thicker than our coyotes usually are. 

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