Saturday, September 01, 2007

MN State Fair #2 

Yesterday we attended the MN State Fair. For the second year we began our visit in the Miracle of Birth building, open 9 to 9 daily. They have set up viewing areas where people can watch chickens hatch from eggs and pigs, lambs and cows give birth to their young. The place is packed all the time.

Yesterday, we were there when a calf was born, front hooves first, followed by the head, then the whole calf. At least 300 people were around the pen when the mother lay down to give birth. Sometimes the vets help move along the process, other times they let nature take its course. The building has ceiling mounted screens over which they play the current and previous births.

Once the calf emerged, it was greeted with cheers and claps. It was a tearful moment, one many rarely get to see. Both ladies standing next to me had been raised on farms. They shared that every calf is a plus and wanted; than man has been helping this process for millennia.

This particular calf looked a bit weak and the mother did not appear too keen on it. When we left, everything seemed ok. We checked back on our way out of the grounds and discovered that the calf was too big and had lacked oxygen during the birth - it didn't make it. However, this sad result is probably unknown to most who watched the birth and the excitement of watching piglets suckle, chicks hatch, lambs and calves nurse is truly wonderful. If you have not visited this building, please add it to your list of places to go - it truly is miraculous.