Pages

10.23.2013

Cows

Last year, December to be exact, I told you about Ferdinand our bull and his shy ways and about Macho and his not so shy ways. I lamented that Macho wasn't letting Ferdinand perform his duties and didn't think that Macho was either. Well, I was wrong. Here it is about nine months after that post and lo and behold we are inundated with little black calves, ten to be exact, and it appear that there will be more on the way. Woo hoo!! 

Yesterday, around noon, one of the mamas birthed near the house. Generally, the cows birth away from the herd in isolated places. I prefer it this way, birthing far away from the house. I become too concerned about some of the mama's mothering abilities when they are near the house. There is a newborn's mama that concerns me. 

When I came home from work yesterday, I saw a newborn in the pasture to the right of the road all alone. Great. I thought that perhaps by the time Hank came home mama would have returned to join her offspring. Nothing doing.  So after dinner, I walked up the road to check on the calf and scanned the twenty acres for a possible sighting of mama. Nada. I looked toward the pasture on the opposite side of the road and saw a black cow with an engorged utter staring at me staring at the calf. Bingo, mama found. I pondered how to reunite mama and calf since they were separated by two fences and a road; nothing came to mind. I thought of herding her around the road and over to the calf but that meant the rest of the herd might stampede and that would a whole other problem. After consulting with Hank, we determined that we'd let nature take its course until it was time for us to head to bed and then check on things to see if there'd been a mother and calf reunion. Bedtime came and he checked, nature had taken its course and all was well.  Until this evening.

Hank left for the church shortly after dinner.  I was tidying up the house and happened to glance out the bedroom window to see baby calf trying to get to its mama. Once again she was on one side of the fence and he/she was on the other. Lovely. I thought I'd let nature take its course but after fifteen minutes of watching the calf tackle the barbed wire fence and then giving up and laying down, I decided I needed to do something. 


Being thirty six hours old means you haven't developed a phobia of humans, which, in this case, was good. I was able to open the gate and get nice and close to the calf. Had mama not been standing there, I might have petted this cutie. But, I respect mamas and babies because I know how protective mamas can be...even when there is a fence between me and the cow. Rather than touch the calf, I waited till it got up on its own then gently coaxed it down the fence line which meant mama would also walk the fence line.



Eventually, calf found a big opening in the fence, climbed through and ran to mama. 


I'm positive that mama was very happy to once again be reunited with baby, her utter was engorged again. She was looking for relief, I'm sure. I think I need to conduct mothering classes for these new mamas, I can't handle the stress of them not keeping up with their babies. 

No comments:

Post a Comment