I was at the mart when my mother rang me to tell me to check the cameras; a heifer had begun to calf.
The water bag had just been passed so I finished what I had to do in Bandon and did a quick food shop. By the time I got home the heifer had progressed a little but her own mother was thrown down calving too.
As all looked ok I sorted grub for myself and returned to find the cow licking a calf and the heifer still straining. After a slight pull I had another bull calf on the ground. I find bull calves tend to be harder calvings in heifers but all was well.
Tuesday night was spent half asleep and checking the cameras on the iPad any time I woke.
One of the older cows was very restless but had settled down by half three. I still expected her to calf by morning so when she hadn't, I brought her to the stall and handled her.
All the possibilities
It could have been twins? Legs and head were where they should be but the legs were huge. I left her be until I rang the vet after ten. Throw a hand in but it looks like a section, I told the vet in disbelief.
Since dad started the herd, calving heifers in 1989 this is the first Caesarean section in a mature cow. It was what I describe as a cold sweat calving. You're focused on helping the vet but all possibilities go through your head. Will it be alive? How big is the calf? Will the cow be alright? Will she give me an all merciful kick at the final stitching?
Thankfully it was ok, as was the cow and she was good enough not to kick. The calf however turned out to be 60kgs. To his credit he was well able to get up and move around but 60kg is what I'd like a calf to weigh after a few weeks not at birth.
Drama wise, we avoided hitting the stage, instead choosing to review last weekend’s shows and fine tune any small bits.
The play is a farce and requires an awful lot of correct timing, which is not easy when there's up to six people on stage at one time. Because of this an awful lot of trust is placed in the other cast members as one missed line or move can unravel months of work.
The easier practice schedule is welcome as we face into five live performances in eight nights. ‘March madness’ it's known as in the drama world. Still, it's a welcome break from the farm.