It’s finally spring and it’s showing here on the farm! The plants are coming back to life, the weather is warmer, and the cows are having their babies. I love this time of year!
When My Farmer comes in each night it’s great to hear if yet another calf has been born; however, hearing about the first one is the most interesting. It’s comforting to hear they are all doing well and it’s interesting to watch them when they are in a pasture closed to the farm house.
Unfortunately there are calf reports from My Farmer that aren’t so fun to hear and I’m sad to share with you that we’ve had two so far. The first terrible calf report was a cow who had her calf close to the creek and it drowned and died. The second report is bittersweet because a cow had twins, which is great, but she’s only feeding one of the calves and kicking the other one away. Thankfully the abandoned calf was able to nurse from another cow, but the cow didn’t fully adobt the calf.
The second day of the calve’s life My Farmer went to check on him and couldn’t find him so he returned to the farm house to recruit extra eyes. We all headed out to help and finally found the abandoned calf alive and well, and sleeping peacefully. The calves instinctively know to hid themselves and he did a great job since it took us almost 2 hours to find him.
After we found him My Farmer was able to put the calf closed to his Mom to see if she would let him nurse, but unfortunately she wouldn’t. So he then drove the calf closer to the herd to see of another cow would adopt him, but that didn’t work either. Boy seeing them reject the calf was so hard to watch and I ended up in tears.
My Farmer made a special place in the bank barn for the calf so we can start bottle feeding him. Once the bottle was made My Farmer sat on a bucket upside down and inched his way toward the calf and eventually got close enough to dribble the formula on the calf’s nose to show him what was inside the bottle. Unfortunately the calf didn’t take to the bottle the first time it was introduced, but he did the second time which was comforting.
This isn’t the first time we’ve fed a bottle to a calf, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The boys have shown great interest in helping to care for this calf, and oh the lessons they will learn. Priceless!