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 not.

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.

I was woken this morning by my husband – who thought I might like to see this:

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?




Trying again…


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!




Now what?….

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…

30 Responses to “Out of left field…”

  1. Hooray for Bay Lulic/Mrs Robinson. She is one amazing lady. Not only is she filling her retirement years with fostering orphan babies; now she is teaching the young bulls a thing or two and bringing in a youngster of her own. And nothing like teaching the two-legged kids a few things about life in the process. WOW! Hooray for the vet. Hooray for your photography and editing.
    Leenie´s last blog post ..THE DAHLIES 111002

  2. OH!!! How beautiful!!!!!!!!

  3. Awww, that is the cutest thing EVER!! I hope Mama pulls thru and gets on her feet again. Unbelievable that a cow that old got preggers again. Those randy young bulls :)
    Mikey´s last blog post ..Our not so agile agility dogs

  4. Oh, dear, we did have different weekends, didn’t we? Sending a prayer for Mrs Robinson!
    Nikki @ Styling You´s last blog post ..The Model and Me: Boom Shankar Spring-Summer 2011

  5. She’s beautiful, what will become of her ?~!

  6. Life is so amazing. And relentless. Prayers and good wishes to all.

  7. I think you should call the bubba NEMO. And the family’s motto can be, “just keep swimming…just keep swimming..”
    Great story & pics – finger’s crossed everyone stays good!

  8. Oh sweet mama! I can’t believe she got herself knocked up! ;-) Those cheeky bulls. She’s had a rough go of it and I hope she gets up soon. That sweet baby needs to know her amazing mama!
    Katie´s last blog post ..Anne-girl

  9. Awesome, I love stories like this! It’s amazing how getting pregnant when you least expect it happens – I still don’t know how I got pregnant when I was on the mini-pill AND breast feeding! I hope Lulic stops being a Cougar… FOr own sake!
    Fleur McDonald´s last blog post ..Dads and Daughters

  10. Wow. That is so amazing. Prayers have winged their way upstairs for mother and baby. And BB lots of extra strength to you. Although having read what you have already been through with your 2 legged baby.You and your husband are wonderful people, and I’m sure you are being smiled on from above.

  11. Too funny. And not funny at all. Just when you think you have it all running right, well, SURPRISE!!!!

    My rule of thumb: never assume that pregnancy is impossible. In ANY creature(See Fleur’s comment).

    Although finally, I am feeling like it might be impossible, for me anyhow. *looks over shoulder nervously*
    debby´s last blog post ..*gak*

  12. Awesome stuff!

  13. Oh that is the kind of things kids need to see before going to school in the morning.
    The calf is beautiful. We were going to sell our 13 year old cow Mandy just days before she presented us with a nice little blonde heifer. It was a little rough at the start but Mom and girl doing well. I think I will never sell her. This is a great Happy post. I love it. I needed that today as I just shipped off 19 stockers, always a hard thing. Congrats to all. B
    Buttons´s last blog post ..A Little Patience and a Big Dose of Reality!

  14. An absolute miracle I say! What a dear old girl she is…precious!

    A name…what about “Little Mira”

    Good luck to them both…

  15. I’m just amazed! What a wonderful story (and I hope it doesn’t turn bad in the end)!

    So what age do they normally stop having calves? (she asks nervously, thinking of the day Kelly has to be sold)

    I’ll definitely lift up a prayer for Bay Lulic. If you do lose her, I hope you’ll hang on to her new baby. What a surprising old girl she is!!

    Thanks for getting my day off to a good start!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

  16. Bella, the wonder cow, you are such a hero! Best wishes to get well soon. When you you up again and bouncing around there will be many adventures for you to tend.
    Thanks,BB, I often wonder – what’s Bella up to?

  17. Ah how sweet, I like the mom cows eye, she looks very surprised. lol Is it a boy or girl calf? I see something but I think thats the umbilical cord maybe? maybe? IDk
    lol To cover up cow buts you should do what Ree Drummond does, just slap a butterfly over it. Would have to be a bigger butterfly than what cover’s Charlie’s butt.

  18. I was thinking last week that you had not mentioned the old girl in a while, glad to see she is still around and can still entice the young guys.

  19. On the way home from school, I was thinking. If it’s a bull, you should name him Bay Lee. A heifer, Bay Lulu. Because this was a lulu of a surprise.

    Or maybe just Bay Leaf.
    debby´s last blog post ..*gak* II

  20. It’s a she. A heifer.
    Calf very strong (amazing).
    Mother (Bay Lulic/Bella) not too flash this morning. Vet has arrived. Stay tuned.
    BB´s last blog post ..Out of left field…

  21. Aw, such a sweet baby. I hope mama is feeling better. Poor thing. I’d be flat on my back too if I had a baby at 100 years old, poor old dear.
    A Novel Woman´s last blog post ..Jarle Bernhoft – One Man Band Sensation

  22. Mother Nature intertwines into most things. I believe that “Bella’s great adventure” coincided with all of the high water times?

  23. What an amazing story. This heifer should be named after her heroine mother. Who knows what predators were out there with brave old mamma during the night when she was giving birth and unable to get up and defend herself or her baby. She deserves a a monument, or at least a medal, that cow.

  24. Awesome to the power of amazing. I hope Bella is OK and that baby keeps getting stronger.
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Dear Darl, it’s October 1, 2011.

  25. Wow! My body already aches from a fall 2 months ago, so I shudder at the thought of birth pain as well! Bella is truly amazing, as you’ve been telling us all along. I’m glad she now has her own baby to fuss over, and pray they both get stronger.

  26. Theresa in Alberta Reply October 5, 2011 at 8:51 am

    congratulations Mrs Robinson! You can’t keep a good bovine down eh ;-) I think you should name your new little one “robby” or Robin.

  27. My momma told us that her momma always said the stock is supposed to improve… My thinking is Bella/Bay Lulic has given you so many gifts over the years of the calves she has fostered and now she has given you one more very special gift… a heifer of her own lineage who hopefully will have her momma’s patience and tenderness when she gets older. She is a winner for you all even if things do go pear-shaped down the road. Prayers for Bella and baby and all the Granite Glen bunch during this time.
    Helen G.´s last blog post ..Finally!!! Some Good News!

  28. I was about to read it last night when I lost internet connection.
    It is a grand story indeed , hope your dear old girl is in a grand sunny, paddock somewhere up there.
    Trish´s last blog post ..Finishing up ~ Messy Meal times

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