Monday, September 24, 2012

Moo-ternity Ward

Remember in my last post about the NC Mountain State Fair when I said it was my first time seeing a cow give birth? The MSF has an exhibit called the Moo-ternity Ward and it was directly across the walkway from the Farm Adventure Tent where my booth was set up.

They bring in a bunch of pregnant cows that could go into labor any time and keep their fingers crossed that they do and that it's during fair hours. Last year (the first year of this exhibit) one was born during fair hours. This year they had nine! Maybe ten, I can't remember. Anyway, Saturday morning my boss came by my booth to check on things and got a call that one of the cows was delivering. He asked if I wanted to go watch. I, of course, asked if it was yucky. He rolled his eyes at me but I went anyway and I'm so glad I did!

The mama cow is put in that pen (lined with plexiglass) so
everyone can watch the process.

That morning the calf was about half way out when I got there and the mama cow was a seasoned pro. It wasn't too long before she had pushed that calf out and was cleaning her up (see above; that was just a few minutes after delivery).

It's a girl :)
This is the little calf a few hours later all cleaned up and adorable.

So the very next morning, when my boss was coming by to check on things he got another call about a cow in labor and this one had just started to deliver. This time I said "Can I go watch?!" When I got there, there were just two feet out. It was the mama cow's first baby and the poor thing had to do it with an audience. But it was great to see how interested people were. It was a longer process than the first one I'd watched but when the little calf slid out everybody cheered for the mama. It was an awesome process to watch.
Since it was her first she wasn't sure what to do. One of
the "helpers" nearby went in the pen and brought the little
guy over to the mama so she could clean him up. She
got the hang of it in a minute.
Already trying to stand up and not even 30 minutes old!
Like with the first one I saw, I went back a few hours later to see what he looked like.
Look at that little guy! So cute.
So, it turned out not to be yucky at all. Amazing, really. Lesson learned. I was surprised at the amount of parents standing there with small children explaining the process to them. It was a great thing for them to be able to witness. I'm definitely glad I didn't let the image in my head hold me back from going over there to see it too.

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