Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, March 16, 2012

And So the Tale Continues

Spring ~ once again the little weeds bloom and fill the yard with their beauty. The grasses begin to grow in the pastures and new baby calves come often, sometimes with unexpected tales.

About three weeks ago, Popa brought home a baby calf that couldn't suck (pardon that expression if you think it's uncouth, but it's a farmer's way of saying "nurse"). We have tried all this time to no avail, and she's been kept alive by tube feeding. We moved her to the barn and didn't give her much chance of making it.
Last Saturday we had a cow who got out into the neighbor's field and after we got her inside the corral, Popa said to leave her in there, hoping she would forget where she got out in the first place. Sunday morning, rain was falling steadily, and when he went to turn her out, she was standing at the fence, bawling, and just outside the fence was a baby calf. His conclusion: she had given birth and the calf had slid under the gate. He opened the gate to let her out ~ she ran in one direction and the calf in another direction. He caught up with the calf and put a tag in its ear; then it ran to the other cattle that were eating hay on the back forty. No cow seemed interested in the calf and it took off down the fence. Popa told me we'd probably never see it again, but at the afternoon feeding we put the cow back in the corral; I hunted the woods and found the calf hiding in a brush pile. Popa held it in the back of the RTV and I drove to the barn to reunite mother and son. The calf was hungry, but the cow didn't want him near her, so we put her in the head gate and helped the calf find where to suck. For two days the cow kicked at the calf but finally gave in and accepted him. Keep in mind the problem calf was just on the other side of the gate from them.
Now here's where the tale continues: Yesterday afternoon I went to feed the cow; neither she nor the calf were outside the barn waiting for me. I looked inside and there were two calves with the cow. My first thought ~ how did "problem calf" get in with the cow? I looked on her side of the gate and she was where she belonged. Next thought ~ the cow had another calf three days after the first one. Actual fact ~ the cow had a new baby of her own; the other one wasn't hers in the first place!
So with no other cow ever claiming him, I have another baby to feed; he took to the bottle quickly. And the problem calf is learning to drink her milk from a Cool Whip bowl and she sucks just a little now...
and so the tale continues...
Charlotte

12 comments:

  1. what a busy life!! farmers experience things most of us never even think about -
    Karen

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  2. Goodness!! What an experience. Or is that commonplace?

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  3. Glad things are getting better with the cows. Our neighbor used to have a lot of cows. He let my son feed one with a bottle one time.

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  4. I hope both little ones make it and are healthy!

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  5. Love this story, Charlotte! Farm life is unpredictable - and never boring, isn't it?

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  6. There's never a dull moment with critters around, is there Charlotte! *grin*
    I know those bottle babies are a lot of work... just like having a newborn's schedule.

    And you asked about the old tractors on my blog~ James kept the H (for now) but got rid of his big hay tractor... he says if he doesn't feel up to going to the plow days this year he may sell it too but he wanted to hang on to it for a little while longer.
    By the way~ I haven't forgotten about the CD~ I've had some trouble finding all my video tapes. I though I had lost some of them!
    Have a good weekend, dear friend.

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  7. Wow, Charlotte. What a story!
    Hope all the little ones continue to do well....

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  8. I laughed when I thought what that cow must have been thinking when you were forcing the calf on her!

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  9. I had often wanted cows here on the farm, but have researched and found out how much work and care they really do require. It is always never a dull moment...hope these little ones get stronger each day!

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  10. You definitely have a busy life.....hope all is better with the cows now.

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  11. You bring back memories of when I bought the old farm house and my youngest and I had all kinds of animals.
    I bought some baby calves and bottle fed.
    Was good for me as I healed..
    They were all my babies.

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  12. Well what about that! You just never know do you-I enjoyed the whole cow saga and hope to hear how the 2 new calves fair.

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