In which we’ve got bumps

Sprite's sporting her second bump. Are you looking?

Baby bumps that is. When did the world become so interested in baby bumps? I’m not sure I get it, but then it is true I often don’t. In the days when women suffered from the “vapours”, a lady wouldn’t dream of strutting around flaunting a bulging belly like we do today. Of course, pretty much everything else women are free to do today would be off-limits to those vapid ladies too.

Well, neither the Ladies nor I are hardcore Libbers, but we are grateful for all our modern freedoms and choices. Thanks all you Freedom Warriors before us who made it all possible. We’re ever so grateful for your courage and sacrifices.

Bling made sure I got her bump from all angles she's so proud. What a ham!

Our Ladies have an odd blend of progressive and not-so-progressive in their approach to life. Apparently, in the cow world, having babies is a huge status symbol. They all strive to be mommies and seem to enjoy it tremendously. You’d have to see the pleasure these Ladies show while nursing their calves; I truly believe they have achieved Zen.

In a free cow’s world it is true that a female leads the herd. I admit to being somewhat surprised by this. The bull

Femme is a compact cutie. She looks young for her age; this is her second bump. Of all the Ladies, she was the sweetest, happiest mom and most dedicated babysitter to all the calves.

tends to watch things carefully and quietly from the middle of the herd while he decides how to best handle the situation. If you aren’t familiar with herd life, you might not notice him right away which may not end up so well for you.

More baby daddy than paternal one, no one relishes all the pleasures life has to offer more than Rocco.

Our Rocco is the first calf born on this farm and he is a colorful character. Definitely more a baby daddy than a paternal one, he spreads himself fairly among all the ladies. But he’s pretty companionable with the steer and the little ones too.

The Ladies step aside to give him the best of whatever there is and he isn’t shy about giving a solid shove to anyone too slow about it. Rocco seems pretty satisfied with the way life has turned out for him; lots of pretty ladies, plenty of good grass, fluffy straw beds all winter and freedom to roam and explore. And, the apple trees!

He also enjoys the company of the steer and a good-natured tussling session is held most evenings. I was surprised also by how much the steer enjoy each others company and how kind they usually are to one another. Rocco prefers to hang out with the boys when he has no pressing lady business. And, he’s just as likely to plop down and nap with the babies for a spell. Overall, Rocco is a sunny and personality packed fellow who spreads himself around.

More Bling bump! That's one goofy girl. She's actually trying to convince me to give her a butt scratch. We expect a total of 9 babies beginning very early this spring. Hannah, Sally and Ruby aren't showing bumps yet; they aren't far enough along, but according to Rocco, his work is done.

I wrote once before about our decision to keep a bull. In these days of Artificial Insemination, it isn’t necessary to keep an unpredictable bull around and many farmers don’t. We do for a few reasons. Since one of my primary goals is to allow these cows to show me just how capable they are of managing themselves, I always prefer the least intrusive, least human driven method of management possible. And, I just can’t ignore the lives bulls working as AI sires lead. Maybe not so bad for the Big Name Bull of the Season, but the lesser bulls really have an unfortunate life.

Rocco knows way more than I do about when the Ladies are ready. Rocco lets me know pretty early when the Ladies are settled. With his help, our babies have all been right on time.

Suki wants to make sure you see her bump too...

So, now we’ve all got bumps and the Ladies seem content. They’re ready now to part ways with this year’s babies to prepare for next years’. And Rocco seems pretty pleased with himself. As usual….

I like to say our Zay is the Pamela Anderson of cows. Somehow, she makes motherhood look hot. And all the boys seem to agree... check out that brisket!
And my goodness. What can I say about this? Gigunda? Humongous? Big, honking, mountainous bump? Say what you like; Molly could care less what you think. She couldn't be more pleased with her huge self. Pass the apples please!
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