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Thursday, March 07 2013


There is a cruelness in life that yanks away your ability to trust. Oh yes, we can have faith that everything works out in the end for the greater good, but that doesn't mean that individual castmembers in this play we call Life will survive.

I see this both at work and on the farm. The Circle of Life can be a vicious Merry-Go-Round. It's not all cotton candy and sunshine. Sometimes the wolves are in hot pursuit as the carousel spins.

Yesterday this little girl was born.

 Her mother is Dancing Cow. She pops out babies in all weather and is a very attentive mother. I never worry about Dancing Cow's calves.

Then there is Daisy Mae.

She is a registered Santa Gertrudis. Other Half paid a hefty price for her. My experience with cattle thus far is that if they have papers, there will be problems somewhere down the line. Just sayin'! The more money they are worth, the greater the risk.

Last year Daisy Mae popped out the prettiest little bull calf - early.  Here is his story: There's A Cow In My Bedroom , Thus far . . .  ,  On Baby Birds, Norman, and Other Lessons In Futility

That said, I woke up this morning to find this:

With the other cattle I wouldn't be worried, but since Daisy Mae had some issues last year, I trotted out there to check on them. I 'think' it's a bull calf. He appears to be full term. He's trying to nurse. She's attentive and trying to help him. Her teats are normally big. Now they are really big. He's having some trouble nursing. Naturally Other Half doesn't get back into town until tonight. Yeahhhhh . . .

I really don't want a repeat of Norman.  Thus far this little guy seems like he's healthy but if he can't nurse, we'll have to milk her. I use the term "we" loosely, since there is no one here but ME. It's not like I'm gonna be able to carry that calf, run Daisy Mae into a chute, milk her, and then bottle feed the baby by myself.

Thus, I'm hoping that he figures it out on his own. If he hasn't nursed by this afternoon, I'll have to stay home from work to help Other Half milk her tonight when he gets home.  (I'm sure my supervisor really doesn't want to get THAT call...)

And sadly, if we have to milk her out, Other Half will end up selling poor Daisy Mae. He's already said that if she loses this year's calf, she's gone.

I see the logic. We just aren't set up to coddle cows that need help calving. On the other hand, Daisy Mae is trying so hard to be a good mama, unlike Stupid Paisley whose baby survived DESPITE her poor mothering skills. (Read: When It Rains, It Pours )

So I say a prayer for Daisy Mae and her baby. He keeps trying. She keeps trying to help. And in the mean time, I keep looking at the clock and wondering when Other Half will be home.


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:18 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
If he really is trying and still not getting anything, she may need a shot of oxytocin to let her milk down. Good luck.
Posted by Kris on 03/07/2013 - 06:49 PM
How's the little guy doing today?
Posted by peggy on 03/08/2013 - 04:52 PM
I'll take more pictures tomorrow. By last night he had managed to get the back two quadrants to work for him and was wobbling around pretty well. Today he was a normal calf. His momma is particularly attentive (and slightly overprotective, but I cut her some slack cuz she lost her baby last year.)
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/08/2013 - 05:34 PM
Day 3 - baby bull calf is still alive. A bit sluggish today and not nursing as well but Other Half is not worried. (I am though.) He is not as vigorous as he should be.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/09/2013 - 05:38 PM
How is the little bull calf doing by now?
Posted by Sharon on 03/15/2013 - 08:43 PM
He is doing well despite Daisy Mae's lack of interest now. She was very attentive the first 48 hours. After that, she lost interest. Much like Paisley behaved last year. If she was already at the ranch in North Texas, the coyotes would have eaten her baby the first week. Not good enough maternal instinct. She will definitely have to stay down here. We can only move really good mothers up there.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 03/16/2013 - 11:44 AM

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