It’s been a week here at our farm. A sad, heavy one, to say the least. If you follow along on our social media pages, you probably saw this post about Lily, one our first cows.
Lily was expected to calve on July 23, and since our cows are all AI (artificially inseminated), we know their due dates and they generally calve within a few days. But 2 weeks ahead of her due date, Lily showed signs of active labor. On a farm, this is a first red flag. This is a sign of a possibly unhealthy calf or Momma cow, or a sign of multiples. And though twins sound exciting– they usually come with problems.
Around 9pm on July 10, Lily had a stillborn heifer (girl) calf. We still weren’t sure she was having twins at this point, but we all stood with her, grieving that loss. Lily continually cleaned and attempted to stimulate that calf.
A few minutes later, Lily lay down and started pushing. Jesse’s eyes widened, as he knew this meant a second calf was coming. And, in farming, if the first of twins is stillborn, the outcome of the second is generally not positive.
Lily struggled to push, and after many minutes of watching, Jesse knew he had to act. Without any true veterinarian training, but with a lifelong calving experience knowledge, Jesse stepped up and assisted Lily through a difficult, painful birth of a second stillborn calf, this time a bull (boy) calf. Lily was so dedicated to those calves, cleaning, lowing (a soft, gentle moo), and attempting to stimulate them both. She didn’t leave their side all night. It was heart wrenching for all of us. Even our kids felt the weight of this moment, as they are almost always by our side in the barn.
Lily seems to be doing well as of now, though we’re watching her closely and giving her as little stress as possible (allowing her time alone in the barn to be free of competition for food or flies: endless flies) and as much hay and water as she needs.
Though we generally try to avoid sharing the woes of our lives on this farm, we know you all are as dedicated to this herd of cows as we are. So as we lift up our Lily in love, we wanted to share this heartbreaking story with you all. And openly share that we all have struggles in this life, after all, but we need to find a reason to get up the next day and carry on.
Now, let’s have some fun: my favorite links from the week!
It’s blueberry picking season here in PA! I have so many memories of berry picking in summer as a child, and I love sharing these experiences with our kids. It’s our hope to add a you-pick to our farm one day, because I’d love to share with you all, too! We’re making blueberry buckle on repeat, these days. And while we’re at it, reading our favorite story, Blueberries for Sal.
Mike Rowe’s podcast is always entertaining, and we learned so much about Black Rifle Coffee Co (one of our favorites) in this interview with owner/CEO Evan Hafer, who also happens to be a former Green Beret/US CIA employee. We took so much from this episode, but Evan’s love of our country and love of his fellow veterans is seriously inspiring. Episode 256 anywhere you listen to podcasts.
This hilarious video reminds of life with toddlers, and I cannot stop laughing.
“Done right, engaging in something a bit dangerous can enhance your courage and raise your happiness.” This a perspective we can stand behind: without risk, it’s hard to find reward. Read here.
A ground beef stock-up sale! Use code “15OFF” to get 15% off any of our ground beef bundles. I think this is the perfect freezer staple- tacos, meatballs, hamburgers, meatloaf, soups–you name it! Ground beef is an economical, healthy option for the whole family.
Happy weekend, friends! We’re headed to a cabin in Cook Forest for a few days of complete disconnection (minus the trips back to milk cows, of course).
So glad you’re here 🙂