Anticipating the Circle of Life
If you have been reading recently, you will know we have some dramas with our darling old cow, Bay Lulic. Dramas both happy and sad.
Happy, in that she unexpectedly presented us with this…
A divine little red heifer calf.
At the approximate age of 15 (which is probably about 70-80 in cow years) we certainly didn’t think Bay Lulic had it in her. Literally.
Of course, the are repurcussions to being an older mother. Especially in the cow world.
Our darling old cow went down before she gave birth (with some human assistance). And she doesn’t really seem to want to get back up again.
Of course, she has feed, water, shelter and TLC laid on. Perhaps she has decided ‘hospitalisation’ is preferable to doing this mothering caper the old fashioned way.
We have erected portable panels around her and her adventurous daughter – less to contain Bay Lulic than her little one who we have lost once already (she was found fast asleep beside the tennis court – some 100 metres from her Ma). Our vet has visited and given her a few more injections and cleaned out the final bits of afterbirth and cotyledons (not a pretty job by so necessary for any chance of recovery).
And we are using a tractor and a special lifting device to elevate her to something approximating ‘standing’ position once a day.
She doesn’t seem to enjoy it that much but it gives the calf a chance to suckle normally. ‘Cause otherwise I am trying to milk her on the ground (trickier than you think) and then bottling the thick yellow milk and feeding it to the calf…
While ever there is a chance the old girl can maybe get up, I want her to connect milk with her Mother so we feed her as close to possible to Bay Lulic.
It’s a chore that Violet loves.
There were some awesome suggestions for names for the newest addition to Granite Glen.
The one that made us laugh the most was Bay Leaf.
Not only ‘of’ Bay Lulic, but also the additive that you might not anticipate, that can make all the difference!
Lachie has been making sure the cow and calf are looked after (his quarters are very handy to where the Bay Lulic Hospital has been erected.)
And Dash… well, he a cuddles man.
And Bay Lulic has been getting plenty of them!
And as for Bay Leaf…
…while I am not a fan of bottle-feeding calves (after all Bay Lulic has saved me doing that on at least four occasions) I will happily do it for this one.
She has some amazing genetics, this calf, and an enthusiastic outlook. I don’t know how long she will have her Mama around, but our old girl sure has given little Bay Leaf a great start on life.
It won’t make it any easier, if we have to make a tough decision in the hours or days ahead.
But at least we will have this echo of a great, great cow.
(a slightly strained smile today)