Tuesday, March 08, 2011

ANOTHER new addition!

Yesterday afternoon, right as I was getting ready to go do an activity with my friend, J called with some exciting news: a bull calf was born! So, my friend and I changed our plans and we went up to go get the calf instead.

We found the place again, and this time I took Chalcy's kennel so the little guy wouldn't have to be hog-tied like our guys last year. We also brought a tarp to cover the kennel so he wouldn't get too much wind or rain or...SNOWSTORM?! Driving back took forever because the freeway was a parking lot. We made it, though.

We decided it would probably be best to put the little guy in the other half of the barn instead of putting him with the goats, because the goats might butt him to establish their pecking order. And actually, that would probably kill him. So I put out some fresh straw, and I carried him out to the barn, and dried him off a little better and left a dry towel on him, to keep him a little warmer.

The guy at the dairy told us this guy is a twin! The cow's ultrasound had shown that she was having a heifer calf. So they had her in their nice, cozy "way to go for having a girl" place where they deliver heifer calves with special treatment (since they keep them and want them to grow up to be strong milk cows). And then she gave birth to our little bull calf instead. The people at the dairy were surprised and disappointed. "I guess the doctor was wrong...but he's never wrong..." the guy said. So this little calf's mama got to relax a bit and they cleaned her up and sent her back out to the muddy fields...where she promptly delivered a heifer calf in the mud. Surprise! Twins!

I think that's why he's so little. He seems really healthy though, so that's good.

He's been trying to learn to stand up. Last night he could get his back legs up but not his front legs. Today he can sometimes get his front legs up and stand for a minute, but I guess it takes some work to get those front legs up after the back legs are up. He kinda leans on his...front elbow things?... for a little bit and then pulls himself up. Standing is tough when you're a brand new baby.

He's also trying to learn to drink milk replacer from a bottle. Not sure why calves are so reluctant to do this. He's not actually trying, even. I'm trying to make him try to learn to drink from a bottle. He puts up a fight while I pry his little calf mouth open and shove the bottle in his mouth, hold his mouth closed, and then reach in the sides of his mouth to try to squeeze the nipple so that he'll taste some milk and figure out the whole sucking thing. He hasn't got it yet. We'll try again later. He'll get the hang of it eventually.

The guy at the dairy says he thinks they may have another bull calf for us in about a week. (We had wanted two.) It's such a drive to go get them, so we'll see if we're up to it. We may just have one guy this year. He can be friends with the goats, anyway, so he won't be alone like a single calf would have been last year.


SkyBluePink said...

He is so adorable!

Jessica said...

Get two.