My babywearing story of the day: I go out to do chores this morning and saw a baby calf that wasn’t doing very well just below the pens. So, while my little one is wrapped on my back, I catch the calf, carry her to the barn (she’s pretty new – so she isn’t that heavy – probably 50ish pounds), milk the goat, feed the calf the goats milk, feed the other bucket calf (bottle fed calf), feed the chickens, and feed the 2 heifers that are in the corrals learning how to take care of their calves. Win.
We have all first calf heifers (first time moms) and sometimes they just don’t understand what it means to be a mom or really want to be a mom. We “assist” 400 heifers during their first calving season and help when needed. Sometimes, the heifers have problems either during calving (labor and delivery) or taking care of their calf once it’s born. If need be, we assist in the delivery and we will even help them learn how to care for their calf on their own. But, sometimes it just isn’t in the cards, so we bottle feed the calf ourselves. Out of 400 head, we have one bottle calf, and the 2 heifers that I mentioned above who needed help.
When my husband gets home from assisting another ranch with their branding, he will go find the baby’s (that I found this morning) mom by matching the ear tag. He will put the two in the barn and help them become a pair. If it doesn’t work, then the baby will become a bucket calf and we will take care of her. The heifer will be sold in the fall. We do everything we can to make it work and help both the new mom and her baby.
I was born and raised ranching. It’s all I know. I want to pass the love I have for agriculture on to my daughters. I want my children to respect, have compassion, and understand livestock. It sure is something to watch my 5 month old daughter get her little arm wiggled out of the wrap (on my back) just to feel and interact the goat as I milk her. My babies are learning valuable life lessons at the youngest of ages…always safely of course! Babywearing has allowed me to share a special bond with my children and to continue to do my small part around the ranch. In my opinion babywearing isn’t only a necessity, but a privilege.