Monday, April 12, 2010

Sheila's new baby - what timing!

T-Bone's departure may have spurred Sheila's labor into action...she delivered another 80 pound bull calf last night, 4/11, at about 8:45, about 30 hours after T-Bone left for his new home! We came home from dinner at our in-laws to find Sheila pacing madly through the fenced off grassy area we'd made the other day to give the girls a break from the mud, just in time to see her shoo Bridgit and Annabel out of the area. She paced the fence and walked in circles, kicking at her belly for an hour, with us watching through the binoculars. Just after dusk she layed down and I saw her water break. She got up and down a few more times, and I could swear I saw a white foot, but it disappeared. A short time later it appeared again and stayed, and it was a leg!  Paul took the glasses to confirm (he thought it was an eye) and witnessed the actual birth.

We were outside within 5 minutes with a bucket of grain (distracting tool), towels, the scale, a piece of plywood and the iodine navel dip. It took a bit before Paul could rope Sheila's horns and tie her to the fence with her bucket of grain (she's very protective), and once she was secure we ducked through the fence and quickly weighed, rubbed down and navel dipped the calf. He was meconium stained, indicating some sort of stress during birth, although we were both amazed at how fast the whole thing went...maybe a little more than an hour between we saw what we thought was the initial stage to transition of labor, then to birth.

We checked on him a few more times and realized he'd crawled through the three-strand hotwire into a protected corner of our property where Sheila couldn't get him. We went out again, Paul made some fence repairs and got him out of there, and we tried to get the baby to nurse. All this while Sheila ate her placenta...yum. (Ha!)

It's raining lightly this morning but mama and baby appear to be doing well. We've seen him nurse twice and explore a little bit this morning. Annabel doesn't know what to make of him; she actually ran away when he approached the paddock fence the first time! We plan to put Annie in with Natalie and Lana this morning, and let Bridgit in with Sheila and the baby since Bridgit is due to calve next.

Enjoy these first pics!


  1. He's so CUTE!!! I hope my Highland's calf is that cute. He looks so surprised in that last picture.



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