This afternoon was the 72 hour mark for Sweetums' hormone shot. She had started mooing a little, so we called Tony. At about 530 pm, Sweetums became a woman. Hopefully, she will no longer be a heifer, but will now be a true cow. Ok, ok. Let me get to the nitty gritty. I know you want to hear it!
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT LOOK AT THESE PICTURES IF YOU ARE EATING
This story is also not for the faint of heart. I used to belong to that group, but I am now in the group of people who don't even flinch at this kind of thing (yea right). I am now a farm girl who isn't grossed out by anything (except for everything nasty). So I apologize if I am a bit graphic, because it doesn't phase me one little bit ( actually,I had my left hand clasped so tight across my mouth during the whole thing just to keep from screaming in disgust).
Ok, so Tony has the can of liquid nitrogen in the back of the truck, the long glove, and a long metal straw/syringe apparatus. Sounds simple enough. Sweetums is happily eating her peanuts in the chute...goats are occupied...kids are asking "Is she getting another shot?" I say, Sorta. They are satisfied with that answer for now. Tony opens the gate on the chute, puts the straw/syringe that is holding the semen IN HIS MOUTH as if it is a rose ( I guess Tony understands the ladies)and begins the process of putting his arm up her rear end. I took pictures with my right hand, and had my left hand over my mouth as stated earlier. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The kids have climbed the fence half way, like good farm kids do, to get a better look at the goings on. Daughter yells out, "Why is he putting the glove in her bottom?!" Son, hearing her say bottom, yells out "BOTTOM? YUCK!" And he laughs. I'm still in my same position with the hand over my mouth. Can't talk, can't look and yet can't not look. The process of getting the arm in took a few minutes I'd say, at the most. Then, the semen straw goes in under the arm, and squirt! - arm out, glove off, wham-bam-thank-you-mam... Just another day in the life of Tony.
I look at daughter. She has a really freaked out look on her face. "That was WEIRD," she said. I laughed. Yes, darling, that was weird.
Farmer-hubby says, she didn't seem to mind that one bit! Tony laughs, "No, no she didn't. She was definitely in heat."
At that point I was able to attend better to the children's questions... here is my brilliant explanation: there is a little tiny baby calf in that shot that you can't see with your eyes it is so small. He puts it in her belly and it will grow into a big baby calf. It will take a long time. And that is all I said. They went on about their business. That is what I LOVE about farm kids. They just accept life as it is.
So Tony stands around talking to us for awhile, while I drill him with questions about fresh milk, his life story, you know small talk. And Sweetums stood at the fence staring at him. She didn't take her eyes off him. Farmer hubby jokes with Tony and says, "Finally she doesn't have a crush on me anymore-its you now!" She just stood there, listening to our conversation. I think she was thinking to herself..."I wonder if he'll call me tomorrow."
I gotta say, this was a pretty painless experience (for me!) over all. Once we got Tony's name, this process has been a breeze. I was so anxious that we wouldn't ever be able to get her pregnant. I am trusting in the good ol' birds and the bees, and saying a little prayer that we have a little (heifer) embryo forming as I write! I will update her status as it becomes available.
Tony put the glove in the back of his truck and drove off saying, "Holler at me if she comes in heat in about 21 days! If not, I'll preg check her at about 60!"
10-4 good buddy.