A modern heritage foodstead
Did you miss us? Did you even notice we were gone?
It’s been crazy busy around here and between
trying to keeping up with projects and peak pollen season, I’ve been challenged. I don’t like to whine, but let me just say, allergies are a real handicap in the farming business.
So between crying & sneezing, planting deadlines, fencing projects and hay making, blogging had to take a back seat this past week. What that really means is, I’ve got a logjam of stuff to tell you about. Starting with Sprite’s big news.
If you’ve been following along, you know that Sprite is my special needs girl. She’s a handsome cow, kind and loyal, but a bit stubborn in her particular way. Last year, of all my first time mothers, Sprite was the only one to have any trouble managing her new job.
Don’t get me wrong – Sprite is a very good mother. She delivered Spritzer with no problem, she licked the baby, talked to the baby, bonded with the baby and chased him around. But when it came to actually feeding the baby, well, not Sprite’s cup of tea.
Thankfully, with a little help, Sprite and Spritzer figured things out and did very well. Spritzer has grown big and chubby and is a happy, friendly steer batching it with the men. And last week, Sprite had her second calf.
Of course, I’ve been very anxious to see how Sprite would handle her duties this year, and I’m happy to say, she’s nursing like a champ. In fact, this baby is the most obedient, manageable one yet.
And Sprite has some very modern opinions about mothering. She spends her mornings with Sprocket just on the fringe of the rest of the herd. She feeds him, and then, when he lies down in the tall grass, she leaves him hidden there and goes about her daily routine as if she were a single girl. All day.
Around dinner time, Sprite sets out to find Sprocket, feeds him then they spend the evening together with the herd.
Now, all cows do this, but Sprite takes this daycare system to a whole new level. It’s only working so well for her because Sprocket is so amazingly obedient – he stays exactly where she left him for as long as she’s gone. That’s unusual for my calves – they’re usually challenging authority from day 2. Day 1 if they’re Beatrice.
The only problem is that sometime Sprite forgets. It’s a big, big, big field and sometimes she forgets where she left him. And he’s so obedient, he stays hunkered down until he hears her call. And she silently looks and looks, not thinking to call until she gets frustrated.
And sometimes, Sprite completely forgets about Sprocket until she sees me head out to look for him. Then, she trails behind, letting me do the legwork, waiting for me to call when I’ve found him.
Special needs indeed…..