Out of left field…
There has been some serious behind-the-scenes excitement here over the past few days. I didn’t blog or tweet any of it because:
A) I was very worried there would be a tragic end and I don’t like being all tragic here.
B) I feel very guilty that the situation happened at all.
C) I was very busy praying for a miracle of some sorts and I am quite superstitious about blabbing before a reasonable outcome is achieved.*
To explain. Three days ago our darling old one-eyed retired-Dairy Cow, and fabulous Foster Mother, Bay Lulic fell down. Lachie found her out in the paddock, unable to get up. Now keeping in mind this amazing old girl is VERY old – we estimate around 14 at least – this is not totally unexpected. She gets fed regularly and is still rearing an orphan calf but she is old. And was looking pretty tired lately. We assumed perhaps her time had come.
But she appeared to have a fever. And she still was pretty bright-eyed (should that read bright-eye’d?) and eating and drinking. So we investigated further.
And Mr Incredible announced (very, very incredulously) that she was actually ‘calfy’ . In calf. Preggers. We all looked at him in total shock. The only likely candidates for father were a couple of young bulls (considered too young for breeding) who shared her paddock earlier this year.
‘But isn’t she like a hundred in cow years?’
Yes. One would have assumed something like menopause may have kicked in.
Apparently Bay Lulic fancies herself a bovine Mrs Robinson.
The vet was consulted (first thing Sunday morning) and I was dispatched to meet her in our little local town for an assortment of drugs to treat her. (A moment to quietly acknowledge the wonderfulness of vets who don’t mind being hauled from their beds on a weekend morning to remotely diagnose and treat distressed creatures. Creatures who NEVER seem to pick a 9-5 weekday moment to reveal their conditions. God bless such vets).
And so yesterday morning we treated our old cow like a pincushion – two bags of intravenous stuff (to replace calcium and other necessary nutrients for suspected Milk Fever), stuff to bring on labour (we weren’t sure how far along the calf was, but we did know the old girl couldn’t get up again in her current condition). Our vet warned us the calving may take days to occur. So we made the old girl as comfortable as possible – packing straw under her sore hips, magic purple spray where she had knocked skin off when she fell, water and feed where she could reach them.
A little something he helped bring into this world about six o’clock this morning.
A very WOBBLY little something…
Why won’t these DARNED things work?
A little help getting closer to that lovely orange licking machine would be good – thanks!
Mmmmmm… warm tongue. It’s a little chilly out here in this big ol’ world.
A little to the left, please?
Okay the shivering has stopped. What now?
Something interesting down at this end of the orange licking machine…
Can’t. Seem. To. Reach. It.
Maybe if I stand up I can find that good-smelling stuff. Hang on, this orange thing is handy to lean on too!
I’ll tell you what, as-yet-unnamed calf of Bay Lulic/Mrs Robinson…
The two-legged creature (that would be ME) left in charge of you will:
- spend much time chasing away ants and crows from your Mama/orange licking machine,
- much more time trying to milk out the thick colustrum from her half-buried teats,
- try to pour each ml of the said gooey stuff into a bottle without spilling the precious stuff,
- laugh like a kookaburra at the sight of neighbour Lila trying to bottle feed one VERY enthusiastic calf without getting various other parts of her anatomy suctioned off,
- try to help clear our afterbirth.
The two-legged creature would also like readers to be generous in their viewing, as she has TRIED to crop out the worst of the last item from photos. It’s tricky keeping cow’s bottoms out of photos – especially when that’s where all the action has been.
She’d also like readers to understand that the pink hue to the scrapes on Bay Lulic are not indications of anything other than the magic spray – her wounds aren’t deep at all. And the spray keeps those nasty meat ants and flies away. And the one-eye thing? No idea. She was like that when she arrived here. Hasn’t been an issue (except when she went totally blind for a bit!).
Said two-legged creature would also like those whose beliefs allow such things, to say a little prayer for our old Mama. That she may find the strength in her weary old bones to get UP again to feed this amazing little half dairy-half red Brangus calf properly. Before the latter sucks the living daylights out of anything at udder height in her vicinity. (One has to keep one’s wits about one, should one venture within 20 metres of this creature. The word VORACIOUS comes to mind.)
What did YOUR kids see before they went back to school this morning?
* I am aware this could all still go pear-shaped. But I simply had to share the miracle of this new life…