Yesterday was a very eventful day, starting out with building a calf pen next to Buttercup's stanchion in the barn. Here's a picture of it:
Frank and I then did errands for the early afternoon. When Rachel got home from school, we went to Amy's to pick up her car, then we moved the new chicks out to the brooder house (they've been in a cardboard box in the basement for the past 10 days or so). Then we moved pigs - er, ran after pigs - for two hours. We had a couple of escapees...
Just as we got done with feeding the barnyard animals, we got the call that the guy was on his way with the wood chips. Good news, too, as Buttercup looked different every time I checked her out. By 4 pm, her teats were so full that they were shiny. Her pin bones became more rounded out as the day progressed, but her tail was still pretty firm and I didn't notice that her sides were flatter until about 8:30pm.
Anyway, we got the barn completely bedded down with clean woodchips, as well as about 50 percent of Butter's paddock.
Frank and I checked on her again at about 10:30 and she was acting uncomfortable, but I knew it wasn't imminent. Frank went out at 11:45 before going to bed, then came to wake me up, as he could tell it was time. When we arrived, there were two hooves sticking out. The calf was born less than 5 minutes later, just before the stroke of midnight.
He was standing up by 12:20, so another very vigorous calf. I did
have to help him figure out how to eat, as he was in the right spot, but her udder and teats were so swollen that he couldn't quite get a grasp on it. The ball of my thumb got a lot of suckling, though!
This little guy is significantly smaller than Connie was. I would
guess that he maybe goes somewhere between 35-40 lbs. Now that he is dry, he looks to be a more gray/tan where Connie was a definite rich caramel color. She turned out dark chocolate like Butter, so end color on this little one is anyone's guess. We don't have a name for him yet, but we've got plenty of time to figure that out.
Here is a picture of Butter and the new boy, when he is about 6 hours old:
I'll be back in business with cheesemaking soon!