The Miracle of (Bovine) Birth

24 Jul

Yesterday, I witnessed the miracle of birth in the form of a slimy, amorphous mass of baby cow flung from the rear end of a slightly larger, highly incensed mother cow. It was glorious.

When my siblings and I took a trip to the county fair, we didn’t expect to see a cow give birth. We were wandering aimlessly through the numerous colorful, flag-flying food stands trying to keep our minds off cheese curds and cotton candy when a voice announced the cow’s labor over a loudspeaker. Driven in part by excitement and in other, greater part by morbid curiosity, we made haste.

Continue reading for pictures! (no gross ones, I promise) 

I was so entranced in the process that I forgot to take photos, which for the consideration of weak-stomached readers is probably a good thing. After fighting for a good view with the masses of fairgoers, we watched in fascinated horror as the front legs, then the nose, then the head and neck, and finally, after nearly a half hour of pushing and mooing and red-tinged slime, the rear legs of the calf emerged from the mother and flopped unceremoniously to the ground.

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The exhausted mother promptly began licking her calf down while a veterinarian stepped into the pen, opened its legs, and declared the calf a boy (bull).

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After watching the pair nuzzle and lick and make the rest of us really, really want a hug, we shuffled over to the litter of pigs, which were born earlier that day.

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We got to stroke them and believe me, they are adorable. I wanted to take one home.

Of course, the bundle of cow joy was followed by an equally joyful bundle of placenta, so I maternally explained to my disgusted siblings what exactly that undulating sack of liquid was. They were convinced that it was going to explode and that they needed to stay at least 10 feet away from it at all times. Ah, children.

All in all, it was an interesting process that I recommend you see at least once in your lifetime. Bit boring, bit scary, bit gross, but intriguing.

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