The amazing part of living on a ranch is that we are in the midst of miraculous activities every day. I don't know about you but I can't think of anything more miraculous than birth. Whatever the species. The flip side of the seeing and dealing with the miracle of birth is that sometimes things do not go according to plan and for reasons beyond our control we also have to deal with death.
We had our first experience with the full life cycle of things a couple weeks ago.
If I remember right it was a Sunday morning. Kyle had brought over a cow that was ready to calve. She was a big cow, but something just wasn't quite right. She was nervous and pacey. Sometime mid morning her water bag broke, and we waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing was happening. Kyle called Mr. H down thinking something just wasn't right. They ran her into the barn to check her out. Awhile later Kyle came in to get some supplies and informed me that her calf was backwards. Her labor had progressed to the point they where not able to reach and pull the hind legs out to pull the calf. The cow would begin pushing, but a frank breech (but first) would not be possible.
Kyle and Mr. H came into the house and began making phone calls. A few of our ranch neighbor's had more experience in dealing with a situation like this, and they where thinking a C-section may be the only option. Of course it was feeding time on most of the ranches so getting a hold of someone was going to be difficult. Finally, Mr. H got a hold of one of the neighbors, he said he would be over as soon as he could.
It seemed like hours but, I'm sure wasn't that long and the neighbor came. I didn't know exactly what was happening down in that barn, so I did the only thing I could do: Pray.
Awhile later Kyle came up and said that they had gotten the calf out but it was too late. In fact from the condition of the calf it looked as if it had been dead inside the cow for a few days.
I took his word for it. I had no desire to see the calf. My heart ached for the mama cow though. All her hormones told her she had a baby, but she couldn't find it.
Here's where the title of this tale comes in.
When God closes a door He opens a window. While it was tragic to loose a calf, and bull calf to boot. Gods planning and provision even in the animal world is perfect.
Remember the twins I wrote about earlier. Well, the catch with twins and beef cattle is that they will survive, but thriving is another story. A beef cow is not designed to supply milk for multiple calves and the less dominate calf will usually suffer, and require supplementation.
The blessing in this situation is that we had a mama cow who needed a calf and a calf that needed more mama.
Kyle and Mr. H brought in the weaker of the twins, dusted it with some sent hiding powder, and put the mama who had lost her calf in headlocks and got them hooked up. It took a couple days and slowly but surely that mama and the twin calf grafted (the bovine equivalent of adoption) Both are now completely bonded and thriving. Oh, and the mama of the twins that took the calf from, she is really none the wiser for missing a calf. She from the beginning was more bonded with the other calf.
The only other thing I have to say is God is good, not just to us for providing a calf for one that would be lost anyway, but to even the animals he created.