Thursday, March 27, 2008

Orphan Calf Finds a Mama

Last week a neighbour's cow gave birth to twins. Usually the cow is fine and she will nurse twins without problems, but for some unknown reason the cow rejected the first twin. We happened to have a cow who's calf had recently died. What Pops will do is skin the dead calf and save the hide for situations like this. If the timing is right (you have a very short window to do this) you can lay the skin over the orphan calf and the cow will think it's her own calf. I know, it sounds horrible but one must trick the cow or the orphan calf will grow up motherless.

The cow doesn't have quite enough of her own milk so we are supplementing the calf with extra bottles.

Sydney was temp Mama the other day.

Sydney must hold tight or risk losing the bottle.

The kids love feeding the new calf, and this little heifer is not shy! She will follow Sydney anywhere, even after she puts the bottle down.

A bit temperamental, the Mama cow is put into a holding pen, not quite sure if this is her calf or not. It takes a bit of time but she'll get used to it.

Well I'm hoping she'll get used to it :)

"Oh Lord Girlfriend, get me outta here!"

The orphan calf gets fairly aggressive and I'm thankful that all three of my babies didn't nurse like this :)


Donna F said...

Sydney looks so cool (she is so beautiful). Nice to watch the video! Great job Sydney, that doesn't look easy to hang on to.

Love Ya!

I'm Mikey said...

Tooo cute! Aren't babies fun to bottle feed? But I'm with you, if my child nursed like that they'd be weaned in a matter of hours...

Anonymous said...

Neat! Sydney sure is growing up! =) She looks taller in these pictures - and, I agree with donna f. - she is beautiful!

Will the mommy have to stay in that contraption for very long? How long does it normally take for a mommy to accept or reject a calf?

Thanks for sharing all your ranch fun! =)

dawn said...

What fun. So many people don't get to see that stuff. Sydney did a great job.

jackie said...

I'm glad that the wee gal has a new chance to be with a new mom. Funny that her original mom would reject the first baby and accept the second. I would have thought of it as being the other way around.Sort of a "first come first server" idea.

Anonymous said...

bottles nipples milk etc, don't know what the cost would be...Sydney feeding on you tube. PRICELESS...Out of this world. /ab

Anonymous said...


That brings back a lot of memories from when I was in 4-H and on the farm. Great job Sydney, you will make an excellent substitute mom....PatV