"Calf in the pasture. Dale and I both a little teary. SO proud of that boy."
At 10:12 Greg texted back:
"Me too. Tell him I said so."
Thus ends (for now) a just-over 5-month journey into miniature ranching.
Gramps was in charge of purchasing all supplies (for which we will reimburse) and originally setting up the fence/pen. He was also the calf-raising officianado. Greg was chief pooper-scooper, Dale was head feeder, Alan helped with feedings when he could, and Mimi documented the whole thing through photography. Yours truly made sure those daily feedings happened, and put up with calf formula and feeding paraphernalia on my kitchen counters for weeks on end.
Everyone over the age of 30 was more than ready to see the calf back in the pasture where he belongs, and where he will remain until he's sent to market next fall, especially with a new baby coming all... you know... any day now. It was definitely time, and today was the day!
The weak and pitiful creature came into town at the end of April sitting in the floorboard of Gramps' truck.
|April 27, 2012|
Tug and pull, and pull and tug, and the critter was finally on the trailer. An uneventful ride back to the country and....
...he was quite happy with the abundant supply of grass, the wide-open space, and a whole passel of new friends!
As we drove away, leaving him in his new home, Dale and I both got a laugh seeing him romp and play with his own kind and size. I turned to Dale to tell him how proud I was of the job he's done, and the hint of tears in his eyes brought big quick tears to my own.
For months now we've gone through several sackfuls of milk replacer, quite a few of starter and calf feed, uncounted scoopfuls of poop buried.
Over 250 bottle feeds, rain or shine, and guess who gave over 90% of those?
It's how he has started and ended almost every day since May. Not to mention making sure the calf had fresh water at all times, including those 100 degree days throughout August and September.
It's the hardest he has consistently worked on anything, ever. He took on the responsibility whole-heartedly, and did his job without complaint. For weeks on end. And yes, his Daddy and I are very much proud of him for it!
Although I'm sure he'll be glad to be free from the responsibility, I'm just as sure, for a little while, at least, he's going to miss that cow in his backyard.
And it looks like he won't be the only one....