Snow Calves just need more prayers

It started like any other Sunday. We had a big breakfast and then outside to start working the chores. With dad having a knee replacement a month ago, chores have become a longer ordeal. 

Bethany came up to help because two people feeding hay is WAY better than one. 

  
So after feeding the cows two bales of hay and unrolling a bale across the pasture, we fed the horses and heifers (they live together) hay and went inside for lunch. 

After lunch, all we had to do was feed grain, haul a little load of wood and check the mineral feeders. Mom, Bethany and I all went in separate directions to get it done and back inside where it was warm. 

As I come out of the shop with grain for the horses, I hear Bethany yelling about a newborn calf. I head down the hill, dogs in tow, to see what she talking about. 

  
 As you can tell this is less than ideal conditions. What you can’t feel from this picture, the fact that it’s 18 degrees.

When she first found it, it hadn’t taken its first steps. But already you could see the cold taking its toll. Half an hour later, we checked on it again, this time on its feet but still cold. 

  
This is the part of farming that sucks. I mean really sucks. We had a couple of options. 

1. We can leave it where it is and pray that it’s mama does what she is supposed to do.

2. We can move it to our barn’s lean to and stress mama to the max by moving her calf and taking her from the herd. 

Before we checked on them the second time, I told dad what was happening and he confirmed the decision I didn’t want to make on my own. Bethany made the third vote on the walk back to the pair. We all thought option 1 was the best option. 

Bethany and I carried a pile of hay into the cedars and left the pair where they were. We finished the rest of the chores and came inside, where mom was waiting. She asked how the cow and calf was and how Rowdy’s eye looked.

And boom,  it all came crashing down. Rowdy’s cut on his eye still looks the same, no worse but also not miraculous healing either. The best option for this calf was the worst one, to leave it where it is and pray that it sees the 40 degree temperatures of tomorrow. 

This is farming. It’s the beauty of watching horses play in the snow, the contentment of watching cows munch in hay and the stress of decision making. 

And sometimes, the decisions aren’t ideal. Sometimes, they aren’t even good. But they are best we can do. And sometimes, the only way the best gets better is by having a strong faith and praying that God continues to allow you to live your passion.

So tonight, before I fall into the exhausted sleep of long day, I’ll say an extra prayer for our little snow calf. And I wouldn’t mind if you did, too. 

~Nicole 

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