A Baby Story but that of #154 and #186 - no, these weren't two human babies received horrible names, it's 2 calves: #154 and #186 - two bull calves born on March 26, 2010 and September 26, 2010 at Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville where we now manage and live. And they do not have names because, well, we do live on a farm, and these animals are raised for consumption. I love these calves and I love their Mommas and you know what, that makes me so very grateful for what they give my family in so many ways. They give the gift of life. I am very connected to my food and while it may not be for you, please respect my decision to be (and those like me).
I recently checked in these little fellas who are just 2 and nearly 2 years old so thought I'd share their births with you. Birth time on the farm is my absolute favorite. Our cows are very used to humans since we have close interaction with them each day. I respect their space and read their signs to me as to how long I stay or how close I get. Most of our cows are comfortable with us being around. One cow in particular was having a calf right on the fence on our busy driveway - some very lucky folks on a tour got a very nice surprise and even emailed us a year later saying they were still marveling at their luck.
The mother of #154 was a cow that had been on the farm for a very long time (you'll notice her udder was very stretched and low to the ground); docile, a great mother and a great producer of calves. Her previous calf was a heifer #123 who needed help nursing due to Mom's udder and mastitis. So we knew with this next one, she'd have the same routine. I was out in the field and saw that she was near calving so I went and gathered my camera. This was my first photographed birth on the farm, I think. I remember it was chilly - March 26 - and my hands were freezing by the time it was over - which was only 30 minutes later. He was one of the first of the season (if not the first but I cannot recall that now). What I found so interesting is that during this time, all of the other cows were casually napping and chewing their cud feet away. It was so normal. "What's the big deal?" kind of a feel. I was in awe - and hooked - so this little fella came out with ease and kicking. He's been a spunky little one from the very beginning - not mean, just spunky. I have a warm place in my heart for him since he was my first photographed calf birth and enjoyed watching him that spring with his friends running around the field. So here's #154 - a handsome little bull calf.
Left: Birthday & Right: 2 years, 1 week old