Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Playing favorites

Bruce sent me to the cow yard today to clean the three pens, one is the maternity ward where the mother with twins is still in residence. While I was cleaning the first two, I watched her time and time again, keep her little boy from nursing. At times she was very rough and shoving him with her head, other times she raised her leg and blocked him from the object of his desire. I thought she was just sore, after all, either one or the other is always pulling on her.

But then I see the little girl get up, go to her mother and proceed to nurse vigorously. By that time her brother had tired of trying to get a meal and found a pile of shucks to lay in, looking very forlorn. I found Bruce after I finished and asked him if he ever knew a cow to reject one twin after they had accepted them and he said no. I told him what was going on and said I was going to get a bottle and see if he was hungry.

I had to gate him off from the cow for my safety, she's one of those, she might not have wanted him but she didn't want me wanting him either! He was a hungry baby, if a calf has enough mothers milk, they won't take a bottle. He gobbled about half the bottle then wanted his mother so I let him go. The little girl was still nursing so he went on the other side. After halfheartedly fending him off and, in doing so disrupted the favored child from her meal, #39 finally let him nurse. He was really into it, bunting her hard in the bag, then pulling her teat and stretching it out about twice as long as it normally is, OUCH!!

 The cow turned her head and looked me right in the eye, "See what I have to put up with??" I did understand but banning him completely seemed a little harsh. She'd finally had all she could stand, her little girl went back to bed and she followed so I enticed the little boy with the rest of the bottle, which he finished with gusto and wanted more. Feed a baby calf and they will love you forever. He will probably learn to nurse when his sister is but I'll supplement him everyday as long as he wants some.

We're thinking the mother just feels as though she shouldn't have to raise two!

BTW - When I was cleaning their pen, both babies were laying in the back of the shed and their bedding wasn't very dirty so I drove the skidloader as slowly and quietly as I could, using just enough power to drag the soiled bedding out without disturbing them. The little girl paid me no attention but every time the little boy saw me driving in, the closer I got, the bigger his eyes got! When I retreated, his eyes went back to normal until the next time. It was hilarious to watch him, he never got up but was greatly disturbed at the thought of getting scooped up with the rest of the bedding!

No comments:

Post a Comment