Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Life on the Ranch

Last night the guys had to help a heifer (one of the females that has never had a baby before) deliver her calf. She had been laboring for quite a while and, like some of us women, she just needed some assistance.  All went well with that.  Mark asked me to check on momma and baby when I checked cattle on my shift in the night (remember the 3 am check?).  So, at 3 am I went into the barn and found the two of them snuggled up close together.  Mom got up right away but baby didn't care that I was around.  I stood 'her' up.  I wanted to see if the calf had suckled (eaten) yet.  It is very important that the calf get colostrum (the first milk) in the first few hours as that milk from the cow has important nutrients to keep the calf alive and healthy.  I sometimes can tell if the calf has sucked by looking at the cows utter, but that is not always accurate.  This was one of the times I was not so sure.

So, I enjoyed the time of watching this Hereford calf run around the pen.  I thought about a name for 'her'.  Oops, I got a peek under the tail area and could see it for sure it was not a 'her' IT was a HE.  Shoot, I was going to name 'her' Nami, but now have to call it Dan!!   You see we'd gotten a 'Flat Nami' in our email about the same time this fella was born so I thought it would be fun to name the calf after her for her school project  (like the 'Flat Stanley' many of us have done before).  Instead we will have to use her Dad's name!!

Anyway, the calf skipped and jumped and slipped.  He ran and Mom sniffed and mooed at him.  Maybe she was telling him to settle down and eat?!  He played some more, peeked under mom.   Then he laid down for a bit and Mom came to lick him off a bit more (that is a cow's way of cleaning her calf off and her way of getting used to his smell so she recognizes her own calf).  She made him stand up and eat too!

So, after about thirty minutes of enjoying this bonding time I got to see this:

Dan's First Meal

I had a chance to get a photo of the calf  - now known as Dan - with Flat Nami:

I think Dan might be wanting to give Nami a kiss!!


2 comments:

  1. Great little story, and I love the photo!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I will update it now with Flat Nami and Dan!

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