Our little orphan, Duke has been doing well with his pen mates and surrogate mother, Blush. He does not take no or a swift kick for an answer. When we walk into the barn he prepares himself to sneak a satisfying milk break.
Blush on the other hand, is still not wild about the idea of nursing a second calf. Until she locks herself in to eat hay, she avoids Duke and his advances. She isn’t mean, she just shoos him out of the way, and away from her udder. Once the head gate holds her in place, Duke dives in. Blush still dances around a bit, but it doesn’t slow the determination regarding Duke and his dinner.
Last week, Blush would only let Duke nurse from behind, but even then she would dance around and try to knock her knees about Duke’s head. This week, she is still moving around but not trying to kick as often and she lets him nurse from the side. She is still not letting him nurse unless she is busy eating and locked in.
It appears that Blush doesn’t want to adopt Duke as her own, but we will continue on while she has an overabundance of milk that feeds both babies. This was a temporary fix anyway. Duke needs to nurse only a few more weeks before he is big enough not to need supplemental milk, this attempted adoption was much easier than bottle feeding him. He is already eating hay and manna pellets (compressed milk supplement) and has been growing steadily.
Yesterday, the pen mates got ear tags. Duke is number 66 and Maroon is number 1. The bright yellow tags will make it easier to identify them as they grow.