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.