Monday, July 21, 2008

More Farm Fun

These pictures were taken back in the spring and no one is looking their best. Justin and I went back to Greenfield, IA in May to visit his family. The weekend was filled with many small town events such as visiting the local bowling alley, attending a war veteran parade consisting of motorcycles, and visiting Justin's dad's farm. It was calving season and Justin's dad, Doug, had been struggling all night delivering a 100 lb. calf. Doug does not usually let me visit the farm, usually because I do not pack the proper attire. We were lucky enough to go very early in the morning to check on all the cows. When we arrived, the calf was laying in a pile of weeds looking pretty much dead. We discovered, however, the calf was being very dramatic. He had not taken to his mother's teat. Really, I could not blame the calf because his post-partum mother had very swollen utters and was a very angry mother cow. Thus, Doug had to milk a very angry mother cow in order to teach the calf life-saving nursing skills. The calf took the bottle and Doug attempted to promt the suckling to the mother, but failed in the fact the calf found it more interesting to suck on his elbow versus his mother's utters. It took a couple of days after our visit, but the calf did eventually take to nursing from his angry mother.

Later that morning, Doug decided to enlighten us even more. A true believer in farm education, Doug lined up a visit to a neighboring farm for some good ol' artificial insemination. Being I had never seen A.I., as the experts call it, I got an up close and personal view. It is all very scientific. The cows are injected with hormones eliciting them to go into “heat” and produce eggs. Next, the sperm arrives from very expensive bulls which carry traits of the ideal cow. The sperm is frozen and comes in tanks filled with liquid nitrogen. It must be thawed to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. There are special heating machines which thaw the sperm. Then it is attached to a syringe and uh yeah, the rest is history as it is injected into the cow. Now that’s farm livin’!

1 comment:

  1. Now that's an interesting blog post, hahaha :) See you this weekend.....