New Calf

Warning: to Neil and Yvonne and to Jan….. if you are reading this to the kids, you may want to read first and then decide what you want to say to Elizabeth or to the Princess.  I know the Princess doesnt know where burger comes from!

We got another calf this morning.  Steve went out to the pasture this morning, scooped him up and took him to the barn.  When he does this, the hope is that Mom (Deenie) will follow.  It took about an hour, and Steve finally coaxed her into the box stall.

Well…. this is Deenie’s first calf.  And she is NOT a good mom.  In fact, I spent 2 hours in the barn crying.  She would head butt her calf across the stall.  Slam him into the rails and walls.  Refused to let him feed.  Won’t let him get near her udder.

I told Steve it she did this all day and night, we would lose the calf.  I was ready to shoot Deenie myself, call the meat wagon and have her made into burger.  It will happen eventually (in 2 years) so it is no big deal to make it happen today!

So I went to Tractor Supply and left Steve in the barn.  I picked up milk replacer and colostrum for the calf.  At this point, he needs the colostrum whether she decides to cooperate and feed the calf or not.

By the time I got home an hour and a half later, Steve had Deenie calmed down some.  Not alot, but some.  At least she wasnt actively kicking and head butting the little guy.  We just got him fed his colostrom and will feed him again later, unless we see Deenie actively feeding him.

My guess on the situation?  This will be a bottle fed baby.  And Deenie will be burger before fall.  Hope I’m wrong…

Deenie butted her calf a second before the camera… this is after he rebounded off the gate.


We slid in a metal gate to divide the 2.  Deenie was pretty nonchalant about it after a minute or so.  Kept eating her hay while keeping an eye on us.  Steve got the honors of feeding the calf.


Once he started feeding him, he never attempted to get up.  Kind of unusual.


He was exhausted after drinking down 2 quarts of colostrum.  And look  at that red nose.  They are always red when first born, but his is redder than our others.  I wondered if he banged it on the wall or gate, but dont really know.


After a few minutes rest, he popped right up.


We slid the gate out from between the 2 and Deenie came right over to check him out.  She nudged him a little, grunted, and licked the colostrum off his face.  It was the first nice thing I had seen her do.


And he was immediately trying to nurse again.  She shooed him away, but at least she isnt actively kicking him across the box stall.


The other calf due will be out of an experienced cow.  Hopefully it will be easier than this one.  Having a bottle baby in the barn just means  extra work for both of us.   It doesnt hurt us, it just means more time spent in the barn.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 15:43:34

    Thank you Gayle for posting the pictures! He’s cute!!! – The Princess

    She’s been watching Cook’s Country….. they have diagrams of where the different cuts of meat come from… all mystery was gone 😉 – Jan


  2. Ramona Quilter
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 21:31:25

    Do new mommy cows usually act like that? How long does the calf have to be bottle fed? I guess I’m asking when do calves move to solid food?

    We have dairies in our little town and the maternity ward is right next to the road. You can always tell when a new calf arrives by the number of cars pulled over to the side of the road. New life is so amazing.

    No, new moms are usually better than this at being moms. No set time to bottle feed. We normally bottle feed for about 4 months. By then the calf is eating hay and some grain. They will nibble hay in the first several weeks. Like humans, they use their mouths to discover the world. And yes, new life is incredible.


  3. shirley bruner
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 09:32:36

    aw, baby is so cute. we lost our last baby…it was 5 days old. mom gave up on it and before we could intervene, the coyotes got it. it was so sad.


  4. j weisser
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 17:37:11

    I hope by now things are better for you and baby calf. We fought one for 3 – 4 days because it wouldn’t suck. The mother was fine the calf just wouldn’t get up and would not suck the bottle. We ended tubing it 3 times. Finally I talked to my sister, she said to let him get hungry so we didn’t do a midnight feeding. Next morning he was wobbling along behind mom and finally sucking. Hallaluah Everyone is fine now. Loved your pictures


  5. Sharon
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 17:37:21

    Ah poor baby! I hope she learns to accept him. Good luck on the bottle feeding. We had to get up at 4 am every morning to feed ours.


  6. Patrick nutt
    May 04, 2010 @ 14:31:39

    Can calves digest hay


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