Friday, March 15, 2013

The Full Life

I often get asked "how do you not get attached to the calves?"  "don't you know they go to die?"  "they don't live forever" and a plethora of other questions about getting attached to animals.  Yes, I realize that most of the calves will only be in my world for about a year or so, and the cows maybe 10 years or so.  Does that mean they can't have a happy experience in my presence?  Nope.  LOL.  I think of it as fostering.  These critters are in my life for a while and fill my life with their crazy antics and personalities.  I can watch them, care for them, make their life as happy as possible while they are here.  They give me so much more joy than I can possibly give them.  I know they go away, but while they are here they fill my life with their cuteness  :-)

Check out some of this years calves and their mommas:

I call him Picasso...look at his little face!

Muhammad and her little guy...doesn't she look like a buffalo?

I call him Si--look at his little white beard--LOL

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Muhammad Strikes Again!

So does anyone remember meeting Muhammad last year?  Here's the link for a refresher  :-)   "Say thats not a milk cow"

The other night I get home a little early--ahh what a wonderful feeling!  I get the opportunity to walk around and talk to the animals and see what's going on.  Sometimes I really feel like a cow-lesbian because I check all their lady-parts to see how close they are to calving...but that's another blog.  So there's a cow hanging around looking all fishy and acting like she's going to calf.  Ok, fine.   I walk around for a little bit, she walks around for a little bit, I wish I had binoculars to see what was really going on, but oh well.  I head for the barn, but still keep one-eye on this cow (something told me she was going to have issues).  She finally lays down and starts calving and licking the little girl off.  Wonderful!  I'm talking to my bestie on the phone and start walking over to make sure everything is on the up and up.  Well, the cow and calf are on one side of the creek (which FINALLY has water in it again!  AMEN!) and I'm on the other.  All of a sudden the cow starts head-butting the calf..."I'm going to have to call you back."   Flashback to a year ago the same cow was pummeling her poor calf...and this year she's right by a creek!  I run around the creek and come up between the Muhammad and the creek, hoping she would back off and calm down.  Um, no, no such luck.  She's more of a 1-2-3 punch kind of mom, 1 lick, 2 lick, 3 punch, 1 lick, 2 lick, 3 punch.  This poor calf is trying to stand up only to get knocked down and around by her momma.  Not going well.  I try to get the calf to stand on her own and move away from the creek.  Well that kind of works...until Muhammad lays down The Chair (sorry only wrestling move I could think of) and pummels the calf into the creek bed.  Eeek!!!  I scramble down the creek bed and try to brace myself against something so the calf and me both don't go for a swim.  Which is no easy task when you combine mud, a slippery slope, a 80-lb calf with fluid still on it, me, and Muhammad giving us the death stare from the top.  Hmph.  Call the hubs, um yeah, need some help.  He comes over pulls the calf up and a good 20 feet from the creek and we watch to see what Muhammad will do.  Back to her antics....barn time for her!  So I wait in the pasture for J to bring the truck, keeping on eye on crazy momma and calf.  Can somebody bring a girl her drink?  I'm in the pasture and wearing pink coveralls watching a crazy cow--you can't miss me!  LOL.  J brings the truck and we load up the calf and Muhammad follows us to the barn.  We lock them up and assist in the milking process.  Next morning, she's all fine...its that first 12 hours after birth that Muhammad is a crazy b*tch!  It's never dull on the farm...LOL.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


What a crazy month it has been!  I don't know whether I'm coming or going (hopefully I'm not the only person that feels this way sometimes).  It has been calving season and those little critters are so cute!  And we had our first set of twins!  Yeah!  Well, I said yeah, J so oh no.  Why?  I knew we would have a bottle/bucket calf and was excited--a first time experience for me.  J is more of the "I'm not in 4-H anymore, been there, done that" kind of attitude.  Normally a cow will not accept both of the calves, so without bottle feeding the cast-off will perish.  So we get to take care of Arnold (more on the naming process later).

So what does it take to bottle feed a calf? Patience and lots of dried milk replacer :-)

Tanner's cup?  Not quite--the milk replacer comes with its own measuring cup--how cool is that?!?!?


And of course the directions. 
A little mixing action with some warm water (this lil guy gets 4 cups at each serving right now)


And here's me feeding Arnold.  It took him a while to realize that the goods came from the bottle--but now he comes right up  :-)  He can guzzle the 4 cups in about 2 minutes.  J says when he gets a few weeks older the amount will go up to 8 cups.  Arnold gets fed in the morning and in the evening.  Calves (like all babies) need the nutrients in milk until they can rely totally on solid food.

So how did J come up with Arnold as a name?  Does anybody remember this movie?

Well as it turns out, Arnold is the much bigger calf, and well Danny is the runt.  LOL.

Still a little cutie, but weighs about 20 lbs less than Arnold.  But the momma wanted the lil guy.