A week of ups and downs

This week started awesome.

We had two new calves.

Jared got the tractor and flip plow moved without incident.

And Spring Break was in reach.

Then, one of the calves died…and the plow tore up… and we had a flat tire on the borrowed trailer. But such is life on a farm.

First, the calf.

As you saw in the last post, Greasy had a healthy bull calf that we promptly named “Happy Feet.” However, Saturday as Jared and my parents were checking on the cows, they discovered HP had passed away. According to Jared, he seemed to have “the bloat,” a medical problem that usually affects only adult cows but occasionally takes the life of babies. His little tummy was swollen on the left side and after an autopsy, they discovered his stomach was full of foam and LOTS of air–which led them to diagnose him with bloat.

This unforeseen and upsetting event is just one of the things that farmers and ranchers have to deal with. It made us look closer at what was going on in the herd to see if this was  a preventable problem or just a fluke of nature.

On a happier note, Greasy is doing just fine. She “cried” for a while (as in moo-ing profusely) but is now doing well. The other calf, belonging to Crazy, is also doing well and not showing signs of any kind of problem.

Now, the next unfortunate event: the plow.

While Jared was breaking land today the lower link pin broke as the plow was being picked up at the end of the row. This resulted in the plow falling where it nearly took out one of the large (and very expensive!) tires on the tractor. After a trip to four different tractor dealerships in three different states, Jared was finally able to fix the plow… but not before the tire on the welding trailer went flat.Which required ANOTHER trip to town right before dark.

Long story short, it has been a trying week. Yet, as Jared and I talked over supper tonight, he was still enthusiastic about his work. Which lead me to wonder, “Why?”

Why not just crawl back in bed?

He simply replied, “It’s what I do.”

Which reminded me of something I’ve always known: Farmers are people of PASSION. They enjoy what they do, even when things go south. They enjoy challenges and they are always learning.

So when you have a tough day, think about the farmer, who with bruised arms and skinned knuckles continue to produce enough food and fiber to feed our growing world.

And, if you see a farmer having a bad day (or even just a flat tire) stop and offer a word of encouragement– even people of passion need a friendly smile… or maybe a cold drink 🙂

Happy Trails!

Jillian & Jared


4 thoughts on “A week of ups and downs

  1. Sounds like the calf might have been dealing with clostridial perffingens…y’all might wanna vaccinate the mamas before calving. I lost my favorite bull calf last year to the stuff and we vaccinated this year (and always will)

  2. Death is difficult. That is how farmers face harder and more challenging times easier than most. We see just how precious life is and just how quickly we could lose it too.
    I am sorry to hear about the calf. Hopefully, with the diagnosis you can take care with either prevention or a head’s up warning for future reference. I will say this, I does happen and sometimes it is all way beyond our control.

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