Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mother Nature and Her Six Legs

Mother Nature aka God can be a little unpredictable.

Hurricanes.....for example, Katrina. Who knew that a single hurricane would have destroyed New Orleans?

Tornadoes.....Greensburg, Kansas is a good example of a tornado's strength.

Well, Mother Nature delivered a shock to the Harker farm this morning.

A few weeks ago, So attended an Angus dispersal sale to buy some cows for recips. Recip cows are what we use to put our frozen embryos in.  They are our surrogate mothers. Some day I'll provide a better explanation of embryo transfer.

Anyhow, So purchased about six fall calving cows. All were carrying embryo calves.  The cows started calving the beginning of this week and all were successful births. Everything was going great, until this morning.

Then I get the phone call from So.

"Come see my newborn calf."

"Oh, is it a good one?"

"Well, if you call a calf with six legs a good one, then I guess."

"Huh? What? Six Legs?  The boys and I will be right over."

As you can see, the calf has two good front legs, two good rear legs and then a second set of rear legs...but they are backwards.

Nothing like a good science lesson at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning! 

Bugs first question was, "Why did this happen?"

Our answer was that God works in mysterious ways. Our second answer was that the embryo probably started to split to form twins and never fully split.  If you look at the picture below, the hand is on the second pelvis.

The next picture shows two umbilical cords. 

Bugs second question was, "what else would you find on the inside of the calf, two hearts?"  We could tell that his wheels were turning.

So & I explained to the boys that this was Mother Nature's hand at work.....God's way of dealing with the circle of life.  We don't know why these things happen and we can't change it.  It's reality and sometimes it's heartbreaking and ugly but we learn from it and move on.

This momma cow will get to have another calf next year. Just like the people in New Orleans re-built their city.

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