Happiness Is a Brown Calf

I was sitting in my office when I got a text from Chris. It had a photo. I was confused.

Why is Kathleen feeding a tiny calf? Where is she? Why is there a yellow sticker on it?

I asked questions. Like what kind of cow is it? A bull. Where does it live? The back yard. Does it like dogs? We’ll see. Thanks, Chris, I thought. What the heck?

Vlassic was also confused.

Well. Chris went to the sale barn and bought a bottle calf, to cheer Kathleen up. She likes to hand-raise calves. How about that?

Yes, he made Kathleen happy.

So, he borrowed Ralph’s trailer and brought baby Rip home. Well, first they got a halter, a food dish, calf formula (isn’t that just cow milk?), and such. And Chris used our horse panels for a temporary fence. Okay.

Gracie and I were also happy to meet Rip.

I came home and enjoyed all the bonding and stuff. Kathleen is an expert. She held him and cuddled him, and he took a nice nap.

Nap time.

To get him to drink more, she had to make him stand up. He’s a little drowsy. Tomorrow we will get him electrolytes.

He really needed to stand up to eat. They get pneumonia otherwise.

I enjoyed feeding him. I’d never fed a calf before. I fed a little kitten a bottle once, and that’s it. Happy World Breastfeeding Month to me!

Mmm. Milk.

I sure hope baby Rip makes it. Kathleen and Chris say they’ve nursed calves in worse shape before. The guess is that he was a twin or lost his mom. Poor fellow. He will have fun with our crew, I hope. The dogs love his poop, which was not a thing I expected.

In any case, that livened up the day. Oh, so did this. It was still soft when they found it, near where Rip’s crib is.

That’s a healthy snake.

He should do fine, according to the professional family bottle calf raisers. The dogs like him, and Alfred and Clarence the guard rooster will take care of him.

I’m a scrawny baby.

Cattle Drama! Newborn Interventions!

That’s right, I’m posting about calves again, even though hardly anyone has read the other post on calves (cattle drama is nowhere near as interesting as my personal drama I guess). And, to be honest, this is not drama if you live on a cattle ranch, but it’s fun if you’ve never been around them. So I’ll share my action shots.

I’ll get you!

The dogs went crazy, and I looked outside to see a mama cow and a very new baby trotting around. I then heard the unmistakable sound of a utility vehicle. A quick glance at the little tan calf told me what was up: it hadn’t been tagged yet.

Run! There’s a guy coming after us!

One reason that the cows get checked on so often during calving season is that each newborn needs to be checked out quickly, to make sure everything is okay. The cattle owners also check to be sure there’s no cow in distress or anything like that, too.

Continue reading “Cattle Drama! Newborn Interventions!”