Sunday, July 18, 2010

Miracle or Mistake?

Iwasn't looking forward to feeding calves in the sweltering one hundred degree afternoon heat this week but when I turned to go down the second row of calves--there was a miracle in my view! A bright auburn red calf in the sea of black and white! We raise and milk Holstein cattle with the exception of a few Ayrshire and one Guernsey that belong to our sons from their 4-H projects. The mother of this calf is a black and white Holstein and by our record she was bred by a black and white Holstein bull. Was this a mistake or a miracle? We do use artificial insemination for breeding our cows so it is possible that the father of this calf is an Ayrshire if the wrong semen was selected or mislabeled. It is also possible that the black and white Holstein herd bull may have had a red Holstein trait. Miracle or mistake--it doesn't matter because we provide the best care possible for all of our calves regardless of color. Each calf lives in an individual hutch and receives milk and grain twice daily. Hot,humid days are a challenge on the farm but we make sure the calves have fresh water to drink and observe them closely for dehydration or signs of illness. One hundred degree temperatures are a lot easier to take when you have a smile on your face from an unexpected miracle!

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