Wednesday, March 13, 2013


This morning when we got down to the pasture to do chores, Violet was making the special sound she makes when she's talking to a calf. Sure enough there it was just under Violet's nose, on the ice in the pasture instead of in the barn. We quickly put fresh bedding in the barn and went to grab the obviously newly born calf. Except, it had already moved about 10 feet. Except that Violet was still standing where we had first seen the calf, talking. Nope- two calves, one looking pretty normal, one not so good.

I kept Violet at bay while Jason carried each into the barn, and then Violet eagerly joined them. The one still looked VERY bad to my eye. I ran to the house to call our friends who know at least a little (probably a lot) more than we do, but we were quite reluctant to intervene much because Violet is a very good mother and quite adamant about her calves. After the consultation, we thought we would try to at least rub the rough looking one dry. Violet reacted violently, and we regretfully left, letting nature take its course.

The next two hours pretty much sucked.

Then, we asked our friends to come over and help us get Violet out of the barn so we could get a better look at both calves, as now the worse looking one was perking up, but neither had walked or nursed. Our friends brought over colostrum and an extra bottle. We used a little grain to urge Violet out of the barn, and set to work.

One is a boy, one is a girl. They look pretty scrawny, but actually not too bad now. Pictures later...

We rubbed them dry, gave them each a bottle, got them on their feet, and got out of the barn so Violet could come back in. Both calves have nursed some today, but Violet is so engorged they're having a little trouble latching. We'll milk her this evening- that should be exciting! We'll give them each another bottle of colostrum and hope for the best.

They look so frail. It's going to be below freezing for the next week.

Last bit of info- because they are heifer/bull twins, there is a greater than 90% chance that the girl will be sterile. And that sucks, too.

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