Looking at our two calves born weeks ago, you would think they were twins. They are both about the same size, Lily being born about 5 days before Tug (named by a student in Dave's class since the calf had to be pulled out of his mother, though I think Dave would argue it was much more work than a tug). Lily was easy; Dave just walked outside to take care of the animals one morning and ta-da, there was Lily in the field with mommy, born just about an hour before by the looks of her stumbling.
Tug, not so much. Dave walked in after taking care of the animals, proceeded to tell me we would have another calf this morning then left for work. My little one goes to his Nana's (one of his grandmothers) in the mornings on Wednesdays to visit while I sit at home watching soap operas and eating Bon-Bons and the maid cleans the house. WAIT! Sorry, I was daydreaming there...back to reality...we haven't had television since 2008, do they even make Bon-Bons anymore, and oh yeah, I'm the cleaning lady! So about 2 hours later of being told there's going to be a new addition on the farm I decided to go check on mama. I figured I was once a nervous mom going through everything for the first time, let's see how she was doing. Well, she was already in labor with two little white hooves sticking out. She wouldn't let me anywhere near her, so I used binoculars to check on the progress. I called the school to have the secretary announce to Dave's class that our heifer was having her calf, instead of pulling Dave out of the classroom to tell him privately, as I knew that would be a given to get the class all excited/riled up so that Dave had to work twice as hard to keep them on track with their work. Fellow teachers love to do that to each other occasionally. I think they talked a lot about cows that morning after the announcement (you are welcome dear)!
After 30 minutes and no progress with intense pushing on mama's part...uh-oh..."Houston we have a problem". This calf was not coming out on its own. Dave was notified and luckily his students had special with another teacher, so he got on his gear and went to work out in the field. This is what happened for about 1 hour before it was obvious we needed another plan...
For me that entailed taking pictures, making comments, and suggesting things to Dave that might or might not have worked, as I received no response back due to the fact that the heifer walked Dave around the whole 5 acres of field (though it might have been anywhere between 3 to 7 acres, I have no idea how big it is) refusing to let him near her. I, however, was not up for a stroll, so I stayed put and waited for further instructions. To make a long story short, we got all of the cows to the barn bribing them with corn, was able to finally move her into the headgate, get the baling twine around the calves hooves, and pull. Ta-da...hmm...nothing. It's now been at least 1 1/2 hours and Dave learns the calf's head is too big for mama and is what's stuck. At this point I'm thanking my lucky stars our little one didn't have a big head, or wasn't above average in size in general. I am also thankful to be the wife in this situation that has a husband who takes care of these jobs as his strength was tested tremendously trying to get this calf out. I am not ashamed to admit that I would not have been strong enough and I would have had to have called in reinforcements. About 5 minutes later, the head came through and the rest was a piece of cake. The baling twine used to pull the calf out left Dave with slices and burns on his forearms from having to wrap them around his arms to get a better hold.
Two week later, the pain forgotten (isn't that what they say about childbirth), and the two calves are inseparable. If one goes to nurse, the other follows and waits right next to it, until it is finished. They sleep together and are very independent of their mothers, which the mothers do not seem to mind. They are so fun to watch together and if they get separated, you'll hear them crying...for each other, not their mama. They aren't troublemakers or feisty much like Blackberry was, but Tug has learned to duck under the fence to take a shortcut instead of going around and through the gate. This causes a problem as Lily will not follow, and then separated by the fence, they cannot figure out how to get back together. Being Lowline Angus, it is still weird for me to see how small they are compared to the mammoths we have had born in the past. The Lowlines do keep that cuter, calf-look for much longer due to their smaller size.