I was happy with the progress of my not-so-little calf. But he was only one… and we had more cows to attend to. Our Sandhills Method experiment was ready to move onward. We would leave the pairs that had been born in the lot behind… and take the remaining to the pasture around our haystack, a little quarter mile romp on our four wheelers.
The lot was a sodden mess, the 9” of wet snow had seen to that. It was snowing. The windshield on my side by side was making me legally blind, no windshield wipers. I zipped down the plastic windows so I could see and tried to park at the appropriate angle where I could watch cows and keep them from escaping through the open gate and keep from getting too snowed on. Everyone else cut cows from the herd and some were sent across the highway to our barn. Some needed encouragement to love their babies… some babies were cold and wet (like Tent Calf)… some calves needed an extra boost of electrolytes or colostrum. We tucked them in everywhere we had that was dry.
The others, as a herd, moved quietly down the road to their new, non permanent home.
I headed back to my house, eager to see Tent Calf. I swung my door open and big eyes on a very alert calf zeroed in on me. “Well, hello!” He bawled and tried to stand. “ Oh, oh, oh, oh!” Bambi flop. “No, don’t do that! You’ll hurt yourself!” Bambi flop. My 1952 tile was no place for a calf to learn to walk! Bambi flop. My laughter was part thrilled he felt good enough to stand and part nervousness that his Bambi flops would end up hurting him or some of my possessions.
It was time to reunite him with his mom. Somehow I made it to the barn without a camera which was too bad. His little short legged mom, well, let’s just say in polite company, that she has a bit of an attitude. I wasn’t allowed in the pen until Vernon and Brandon had her squeezed against a wall with a gate. Tent Calf was set in the proper position, but couldn’t find her udder. She needed to stand on a box. Luckily, she let Vernon milk her out into a bottle, which Tent Calf LOVED. Brandon interrupted his love affair to show him where all that special goodness comes from. Tent Calf is big. His attitude-ful mother is not. Tent Calf about needs to kneel like a lamb or goat kid to be in the right position! Once found, he got a passing grade for eating… but it’s on a much lower level than instinct tells him it is. We were all soon tired, us from bending over, T.C. from stress and he did eat about a pint.
They were put in a smaller pen, and another pair in their pen. Brandon said Attitude Mom is kicking him off this morning, but we will work with them some more. Mommas should not kick their babies. We will see what tomorrow brings for T.C.!