The Real Farmwives of America & Friends are discussing.... The Cycle of Life this week. Be sure to check out the Real Farmwives facebook page to find out what all the other farmwives have to say on this subject.
Like most kids growing up on the farm;I learned quickly about the cycle of life. I'll never forget the first time I saw a baby lamb being born and was shocked to find they came out wet and sticky. Or the time our pet Dalmatian named Freckles passed away. On a farm its an almost daily occurrence that something was either being born (lambs, chicks, kittens, calves, puppies, goslings and more) or being nursed back to health, or being sold, or passing away. The cycle of life happens everyday and I've always believed God has a plan and a purpose for everything on our farm.
There was this one calf in particular that I recall around my Sophomore year of high school; a bottle baby named Pejou. You see Pejou was born to a heifer who probably wasn't ready to be a mother just yet. She had no interest in her calf and not very much milk to give. In situations like this, it's only natural, as a farmer to step in and try to bottle feed and help the calf. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes those ques of the female animal not accepting her young are a natural instinct something else is wrong. Sometimes it may be hard for us as humans to figure this out and no amount of vet visits can change the situation. Sometimes it requires faith knowing that the good Lord has other plans, no matter how hard accepting those plans might be.
When this orphaned calf was brought up to the barn we noticed right away that there was hard spot around his navel where he had an infection. After a quick trip to the vet's office we got some meds and began doctoring this infection while feeding him replacement milk with a bottle. (The vet mentioned the calf probably only had a 50% chance to make it.) I had my doubts, but I also had hope and knew regardless what happened God was in control of the situation. Somedays the calf seemed well, and somedays he acted a little lethargic. Each morning and evening he got his bottle and some extra pats on the head of encouragement, and eventually after some time this calf started to get stronger and healthier.
After a couple of weeks he got a name.... Pejou. You see his fathers name was Pete, and I always thought his mother looked like a Maine Anjou (another breed of cattle) so I combined those names and got Pejou (pays-you). After a couple more weeks he got a halter and by the time summer rolled around he had a permanent pen right inside the barn with the pasture area in front of the barn as his personal pen. Pejou had an attitude and acted like the whole barn lot was his. When you walked from the house out to the barn, Pejou would see you coming and run up to the gate to greet you. Can you imagine a 1000 pound steer running up to you like a dog waiting to be petted and then following you around the barn lot while you did chores??? Well that's what Pejour did. He wore a halter so you could pull or push him out of the way if you needed to and he was by far the tamest steer we ever had.
As cute as Pejou was and as much time and effort that went into raising him; after a year and half, we loaded him up on the trailer and sold him. We had done our job as farmers raising him to the best of our ability and he served his purpose by being sold. The money I got for him went to help pay for college expenses. I've mentioned before in this blog that raising and selling animals is a business proposition; a car salesman doesn't get attached to the cars he sells and likewise a farmer with the livestock he raises. While I'll always smile when I think of that big bottle baby, I will also always know God had a plan for him all along!
This post was linked to Farm Friendly Friday.