Friday, January 7, 2011

Who's Your Momma....

Well, our "Big Event" here on the Hillbilly Hill Ranch this week, was Mabel giving birth to a nice little heifer.

Let the trouble begin...

The first thing that happened was that Mabel was having trouble with edema swelling her udder to EXTREME size. She is SOOO big that it is hard for her to walk - and even harder for the calf to get to the nipple - Mabel's teats are only 3-4" off the ground.

We've been treating her for the swelling, and trying to get as much milk out of her as possible. It's gonna be a bit before she is back to "normal".

Meanwhile, SOMEBODY has to feed the rugrat...

Feeding time

I took the first go-round. We stuffed the critter full of colostrum we had saved when Daisy calved. We saved it "just in case" since we new Mabel didn't have the best of "bags".

Right after the bottle was finished, I had a little four-legged shadow following me around thinking I was mom. When it came time to get fed again, Deb got to hold the bottle. I did all the "hard" work - by getting the calf to know the bottle meant food, so Deb didn't have to shove it down it's throat. All she had to do was hold it still and the calf knew what needed to be done. Her AIM wasn't always that great, but she KNEW what to do.

Afterword, DEB had the shadow following her around for awhile....

Bottle Time

From the beginning (maybe even a little before), Daisy has been convinced it was HER calf. Daisy came to us after being used as a "nurse" cow. Now, she thinks that ALL babies are hers to take care of. Last summer, she would try to chase the goat mommas off, and feed their kids.

I'm convinced that she'd try to nurse the baby chickens - if she could figure out how to do it....

There she was, minding her own business (and trying to steal the calf), when I shoved her out of the gate, and shut it behind her. Mabel and baby on one side - Daisy on the other. It was NOT a pleasant ordeal for at least ONE of the participants.

Mad Cow

Daisy began pacing up and down the fence, calling to "her" child who, being a confused youngin' - went over to her....Thus began the "Momma Tug of War" in the calf's mind. Here were not one, but FOUR people acting like "mom".

Mabel, for her part, keeps calling the calf, but I think she'd be happy to have somebody else take care of her. Deb likes to feed her, but wants Mabel to do the feeding. I like feeding her, but want ANYBODY else to do the job.

Daisy just wants to steal her.

She just MIGHT get her wish, but we'll have to wait and see. In the mean time. We have to put up with Daisy, and her "Mad Cow" disease...

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the new little girl! We've talked about looking for a Jersey heifer here...Seeing her is going to send me looking again...


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