Saturday, March 29, 2008

When we all work together, together, together...

Today I castrated our bull calf, with the help of friends, Laura, Josh, Serge, James, and daughter Maggie.  

According to my research, it is best to wait until calves are at least 3 months old before castration, to give them chance to naturally produce growth hormone, since we do not give our animals artificial hormones.  The animal is still nursing, so it has the extra vitamins and antibodies from the mother's milk.  Not to mention the comfort.  

Poor Mousse needed some comfort after today's little procedure.  

We chose the surgical route to castration because the alternatives have more risk of tetanus and other complications.  We made an  improvised head gate with exterior barn wall and gate.  This was definitely a team effort.  Josh held the halter with a rope at the head.  Laura held up the tail to theoretically immobilize the back legs.  Serge roped the back leg and held it back so it wouldn't kick me in the face or cause me to cut something I shouldn't.  Maggie and James held the gate tightly against the barn.  I operated.  It went so well we decided to  take care of the baby goats while we were at it.  What friends.

Farm life is so good for me spiritually because there are so many things I have to do that cannot be done alone.  I have to ask for help.  I get to see community around me as we tackle things we don't know how to do; together.  We learn.  We laugh.  We grunt in extreme effort as we try to make an over 300 lb  very healthy calf go somewhere he does not want to go.  

By the way, I try to consult the Farmer's Almanac to at least try to follow the old-fashioned advice.  This weekend was listed as the best time of the month to castrate.  What an amazing difference.  Last year we did not consult the Farmer's Almanac.  The amount of bleeding was horrible.  This year, hardly any blood.  What a difference.  I am convinced.  God the creator makes the world operate so well, and gives such cool guidance.  

I hope all my friends get a chance to do something new and challenging that requires effort and the help of several friends this coming month!



hollywould said...

that is so cool! congratulations on a job well done.

shirley said...

I'm a farm girl too. I loved this post. Do you know the words to the song "when we all work together?" Your title suggests that you do. I found your blog because I was looking for the words. I would love a reply. Please check out my blog at