I have officially given up on training the calf, dubbed Blossom by my daughter, to nurse the replacement mother we were trying to get her on.
Just in case anyone is new to this story, Blossom was found a couple of days ago, newly born and nearly frozen. Her mom didn’t have any interest in her and Blossom couldn’t figure out how to nurse. I brought them both in and tried to help Blossom but her mom was on the fight. Mad and trying to get us if we got close. The mom got turned out and a quieter cow who had lost her calf was brought in.
The new cow was doing alright. Blossom wasn’t though. She still couldn’t figure out how to nurse unless the cow was in the chute. The cow hated being in the chute and would lay down when Blossom tried to nurse. I hated doing that to the cow and didn’t want to run her into the chute anymore if we didn’t absolutely have to.
I was trying everything I could think of to get the cow and calf together. This morning we took Blossom a bottle of milk replacer. She sucked it dry and was still looking for more. We hurried to get the cow back in with her, we had turned her into a different pen for our safety during the feeding, and gave her lots of food to eat so she would hold still for Blossom.
Blossom was actually looking for food, searching down the sides of the cow for her milk. It had worked. We managed to get everything just right to set Blossom up for success! She worked her way back and got right to the udder…
When the cow kicked her.
Blossom was completely discouraged and went back to lay down in the place she likes best, dejected and sad looking. I lost all sympathy for the cow. Around noon I would run her back into the chute and let Blossom get a full belly.
When I went back though Blossom was shivering. It had rained all night and although she has “dry” place to lay dry is only less wet that the mud puddles really. Everything here is soaked. I would be really impressed by the flooding if it didn’t pale in comparison to the flooding in the east side of the state. She also had bloody scours (that’s diarrhea for non cow people) She was cold and hungry and there would be no more attempts to get her on the cow. Something else had to be done.
My darling husband helped me to figure out where we could put her that would be dry. The usual barn has a creek running through it and is ankle deep with water. Then he helped me haul her up there. We gave her another bottle of milk then left her warm and dry while we went to town for groceries and medicine. When we got back she happily sucked down her electrolytes.
I don’t know exactly what will happen now but I turned the cow back out though. She out with the calf she had been sharing with the other cow. Maybe they can raise that one happily together.
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