In the world of baby calves on our farm, I’m pretty much the master keeper of all info.
We have a paper book we enter new calf births into, and whoever finds and feeds the baby is in charge of writing it down.
Sometimes this is me and sometimes it’s not, but I’m always double checking the book (which is what we’ll use to enter baby info into the computer). I also check on all babies in the warmer or hutch to make sure they got written down, there’s a somewhat accurate description, they’ve got a coat in winter, etc, etc. Just managing the process.
Usually I also double check the gender of the calf, but sometimes that falls through the cracks. Apparently.
You see, earlier this month we were moving bull calves out of hutches. They were about 2.5 months old, and we were moving 10 of them. The first calf we took out was rather stubborn, and I was pushing “him” from behind as someone else was on the halter leading up into the trailer.
Once “he” was in, I looked from behind and noticed something strange. Or rather didn’t notice something. This calf didn’t appear to be a boy at all.
I looked closer just to be sure. Yes, this was in fact a girl. She must have just gotten mistakenly put in the bull row and tagged with green. We moved her with the rest of the bull calves (who were all really bulls) for the time being until I could figure out the snafu.
(She’s the red and white spotty one!)
I looked back in the records, and she was written down as a bull born on October 7, a Sunday morning. I’m virtually always around on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t understand how I’d missed double checking this calf.
Then I realized something about that particular Sunday morning. I’d actually not been around. I was busy running from Minneapolis to St. Paul in the Twin Cities 10 Mile!
I still should have noticed this error when I returned, but maybe I was more tired after the race than I thought.
It’s all worked out because we noticed her coming out of the hutch, and today we finally got around to righting the situation.
She’s got fresh yellow tags and was busy checking out her new pen of fellow females.
I have a feeling years from now when she’s an old cow, I’ll smile when I see her and remember the story of how she started life identified as a boy!