Keeping watch

Cocky is calling, crowing his challenge to the day. He has been for a while, and, like waking slowly to a disturbance, I only register the sound gradually. What was I minded of when he started? Moira’s udder, I believe, covered in long hair. I must crop it to assist the calf to find the tit.
Now. look closer at all of them- these cattle are not mere munching machines. Keeping them supplied with nuts and silage is not the end of care.
Moira is walking heavily, but sound – and she sets herself apart, but that may be that she is easily bossed being the only female without horns. This will be her first spring calf: normally she spends half the year alone while the others nurse their babies. It will be good for her to share the time – and her babies are always such good-natured beasts even if she gets fussy and hormonal.
Old arthritic Morag is lifting her tail – surely she can’t be getting ready? Just wind, I reckon, a bit of bloat – can she produce one more? Her last – could it be a prize winner?
Flora is huge and heavy – deceptive, because I’m convinced she has some sort of breach – a rent in the birth muscles meaning that she carries excess fluid and is unable to work with the calf to bring it to the world. Will the calf arrive exhausted, unwilling – or defeated by the effort? If it survives it will be a champion.
Holly is big and steady – standing placidly where the sun will catch her, ready for a rub as I go over to her. Not so easy with a baby though – as Rich Thomson nearly discovered last year, jumping to avoid her as Chris said “she can be funny”…”might have told me before”, laughing.
So little I can do – keeping my eyes open must suffice for now.


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