Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More Bottles to Wash

On Sunday, a farmer brought us another bottle calf. We aren't 100% sure of her story, but I do know she got off to a rough start about a week ago and the mama cow, who is now suffering mastitis bent both sides of one truck and one side of the other when the farm workers were trying to help her. Of course, she was aiming at the workers. I guess they decided it was too dangerous to continue to intercede and gave us the calf. Now, the cow will be able heal without worrying about the calf.

The calf didn't know how to use the bottle because I think they had been tubing her and she had an eye injury. We have had the worse time trying to teach her to drink because calf number one is completely healthy now and tries to take both portions. The first day, I came back from the barn completely wet with dripping milk and calf slobber. Calf number one, affectionately called Big Foot because he is the biggest calf any of us has ever seen - no wonder he killed his mama, nursed my hand, my sweatshirt tail, and my knee. He butted me trying to get more milk until I fell. He pushed in on the new calf, attempting to knock the bottle away so he could get a chance, which wasn't difficult since the new calf hadn't a clue and I had to work her mouth to get anything down her throat

After the second attempt at feeding, we decided we needed to work as a family to feed the calves and get the medicine in the new calf's eye. Keeping Big Foot away from the ears of the other calf, from the bottle, and from upending the feeders was just too much job for one person, especially the children.

Last night we had a breakthrough. The little calf nursed. Sure, Mr. W had to pry her mouth open, but once the bottle was there she sucked. This morning the calves finished their bottles at almost the same time. Hopefully this cold weather won't sneak in and disrupt our progress with these delicate calves.

By the way, the person in the picture is not me. My arms aren't that hairy!


Mrs. G. said...

I'm glad to know your arms aren't that hairy! Those calves are so darn cute that I almost want to give up beef...the problem is we are having tacos for dinner. Maybe tomorrow? I want your life, calf slobber and all. I'm tired of the city.

Frankie said...

Ah, they're beautiful, slobber and all. lol about the arms -- I think I had that figured out before you mentioned it!

ZILLA said...

I'm much too lazy for your life :-) I'm very impressed you're able to keep your resolution to post daily this month, but at least there is no lack of interesting (and CUTE!) material.

BTW, Jamoker posted today on CCD, which still interests and frightens me. I had no idea the problem had grown so serious, or that other countries are effected. Your colonies are still thriving, I hope.

Melora said...

They are Darling! And I guess the word has gotten out about your color scheme. Do they do better with company? It seems like a little calf alone would be lonely. (Obviously, I know nothing about cows.)

Angela said...

There is nothing like a calf in need to make me melt. Your experience sounds hysterical on this end, though I know it certainly is trying. Glad to see that both have figured it out for you.
NatureGirl mentioned that you adopt calves like other folks take in kittens. Then she asked if you wanted to adopt her! :)

Kate in NJ said...

I come from a very hairy family, so
I never noticed the arm hair until I read it.;-)