Day 13 – Calving Season 2022 “Hungary” is a Hero

Things have settled down with the end of the blizzard. However as cold temperatures linger and we work with the snow that fell we are mighty grateful that calving has not kicked into high gear. One day last year we had 25 calves in one day. Those stats during a week like this one would just about kill us perhaps.

Russ made it one of his first jobs of today to get my vehicle dug out so I could make it to the Good Friday service in Oxbow where I helped with the music.

We have had a story develop with an unusual twist. Yesterday Russell and Morgan were working at the calving pasture when they thought they heard a calf bawling. Did they? They became as still as they could and listened hard….yes, they did hear that and it was near enough to be one of ours. The hunt began. The calf was located in the trees, by itself, hungry, cold, licked off. It had been abandoned it seemed. Russ phoned me to tell me the news and ask me to prepare the dog room for the arrival of a cold calf. Further phone calls had the two of us going back and forth on the best plan….. the bottom line, this calf was big, too big for Russ to want to carry it up the stairs and into the house, after riding around in the back of the truck it was warming up well, it maybe didn’t need the house. In the end I made a bottle for it and Jill went out and fed it in the truck. Russ took a video. If you ever wondered how a lively calf handles the back seat of a truck here is a glimpse.

After the calf mostly guzzled this dose of colostrum Russ then took it to the pen where he had a cow he thought was calving. He had brought her home to shelter given this strong suspicion he had. Was this in fact the calf’s Mom? Had he missed some key moments and read the signs wrong? I wondered if she maybe was in the midst of having twins. There was much confusion. Once the calf was placed in with the cow named “Hungary” a good connection was made, Hungary was not thrilled with feeding this calf but the calf sought her out and Hungary let that calf suck. Russ was stumped about what the whole story was.

This morning Russ came in to bring me a cup of tea and said I have good news and bad news. As I tried to open my eyes I was thinking, “oh no….bad news…..oh jeez….what?” The bad news was that Knightwing our guard dog had come in the house and threw up on the kitchen floor. Russ assured me it was just disgusting and he could not deal with it and he was so sorry. It turned out to be no big deal of a clean up for me, which meant the bad news was nothing to ruffle a feather over. Hallelujah. That is a word I should not be thinking on Good Friday, but I have heard way too much bad news in recent years and I am always ever so grateful when it is not a big deal. The good news was that Hungary had birthed herself a calf overnight. She was continuing to care for the abandoned calf and take care of her own. What a trooper. But heres the thing, Hungary has quite a back story with our ranch. Russ wondered if I could search his Facebook profile for stories of Hungary, I knew how to do that. In a few seconds I had the stories he was thinking of in front of me. Here are the screen shots of what we looked at.

This is so ridiculous and not admirable but Russell remembers feeling so frustrated by how things were going at the chute this particular day. It was at a time when he had seen these pet shaming posts on Facebook which were very ridiculous in his mind, admittedly it is a mind that can stir up a lot of goofy stuff, so for him to be pushed to the point where he thinks silly is stupid but then he actually imitates it tells you how frustrated he was, he was desperate to create some fun in a hard work day.

The story became a good news one the following year and Russ and Jill followed up on Facebook……

The thumbnail pictures seen here are below.
We still had the same box in the shed so Jill posed with the old sign and then……
The good news on the reverse side of the same box.
Hungary’s baby in the foreground.

Two years later its another happy chapter in Hungary’s story with us……

And here she is mothering two, one her own and one a mystery baby. What a comeback story! I can only imagine the sign that Jill and Russ will come up with for this year when she comes through the chute for her vitamins and vaccines.

So that is the developing good news story about Hungary!

In other news………last night Morgan and Russ stripped down to their base layer at supper time, getting rid of the outer layers helps the heat get to them more quickly. It was with a good deal of enjoyment they discovered they were “twinning” and this photo was taken.

Good night from the Bar MW Ranch!