You get the privilege of watching motherhood in various forms out here.
Cows and calves, does and fawns, mares and foals, goose and goslings, hens and chicks, ewes and lambs.
Here, I have Elsa… a great mom…
I help with the first time mothers, the heifers…
Then, we have those that fail at motherhood.
Night before last, Vernon came to get me and a bottle of milk replacer. Seems an experienced cow was smashing her calf into a mud hole. Vernon had drug the calf out of the water, continued checking other calves, came back and the cranky ol’ hide had rolled her calf BACK into the mud hole and was wallering him around.
Beware: OOPE pics ahead. For those who don’t understand my OOPE photos… I take them on the fly… that means they’ll be out of focus because I’m helping with the work and can’t take the time to focus, change aperture, or use any other proper photographic techniques. But you get to see more “real live” ranch work that way. I have quick links to some OOPE photos on the left side of this blog.
The guilty party… aka, Stupid Cow.
Her calf can’t even stand on its own… momma has abused him too much in his first few minutes… Vernon lends a hand…
The sun is going down, the air is turning brisk, so we decide to put him in a sheltered area away from Stupid Cow.
Glad Vernon is strong – this is a BIG calf… which may be why she was a little upset with her calf – ouchee.
I’d usually delete this one even for a OOPE pic… VERY blurry… but you see how cold and wet and muddy the poor little guy is…
Did I mention how Vernon is strong? This is easily a 100 pound calf…
I spent some time massaging and attempting to dry off the calf… reenacting what his mother SHOULD have done. He’s not good at sucking… in fact, we tried all our tricks and still ended up pouring most of it down his throat.
But, amazingly, he was still alive this morning and even up and walking. They both have a few “issues” to work on.. he still doesn’t suck well, and she swings her head at him like she’s going to roll him again… but overall, this story does end happily. So far.
Just look at this. Now do you understand why I love hot showers and good washing machines???Find me here!