Saturday, December 22, 2018

New Baby, Stubborn Mother

A cow who's first two pregnancies resulted in stillbirths, went into labor yesterday morning.  A couple hours later her delivery was complete without assistance.  However she didn't seem to understand what she should do, walking off from her newborn bull calf.

As I dried the calf with old towels she became interested and soon was licking him enthusiastically however when he tried to nurse she nudged him away.  After giving him time to gain some strength I maneuvered his to her bag and she kicked him each time he nuzzled her teats.

Its imperative that a newborn have colostrum within a few hours of birth so the next step was to attempt to milk her but I soon found that what was gentle kicks when her calf nuzzled became roundhouse kicks that if landed soundly could break bones.  Borrowing a set of kickers from a neighbor I was finally able to milk her a little and feed the baby a mix of her colostrum and a bag of colostrum supplement.

Today the calf, while much stronger, showed no interest in attempting to nurse.  Again I struggled to milk the cow some and supplemented her milk with milk replacer.  I still have a couple tricks up my sleeve and remain optimistic that mother and son will soon bond in a nourishing relationship but only time will tell.

Such is life on the farm!


Ruth Hiebert said...

Never a dull moment. Cute little fella.

Coy Hill said...

For sure Ruth. Merry Christmas!