Our newest cow to deliver, Scooter, has brought her baby closer to incorporating into the main herd. But she is still wary that the other calves will pick on her little Vespa so she hides her around the brushy fence lines while she grazes, goes for water or eats hay. This tendency will only last a couple of days until Vespa is strong enough to join in with the gang of calves that cavort around the field. Until that happens, we go in search of the calf at every feeding to check up on her, make sure she has been nursing, and that she had not somehow gotten herself stuck on the wrong side of the fence surrounding the field.
There are dangers being on the outskirts of the herd. The river is just beyond the fence and riparian area and we have lost calves before who have wandered too close to the edge and have fallen. The coyotes hang around the fields in hopes of finding tender newborns, they wait for the mothers to become inattentive or temporarily when they temporarily misplace their babies. Or a calf could just simply lay down for a nap close to the fence and when they try to stand up, slip under the bottom wire and end up on the wrong side.
A whole lot of commotion breaks out when a new mother is not able to get to her new calf on the other side of a barb wire fence. All the calves run to see what is going on, the mothers all run in an attempt to corral their little ones. Babies are crying for their mothers and mothers are bellowing back. When all the hoop-la is going on it is easy to find where the wrong-side-of-the-fence baby is located. When the baby is sleeping, we have to guess where the mother put the baby down for a rest and begin searching the brushy growths along the fences.
It is amazing how small a newborn can look when curled up. Babies can set themselves into a small depression and nearly disappear from view, add buck brush, snowberry and wild rose bushes and the calf can be invisible.
It was Mike who spotted an area in the fenceline from across the hayfield that looked suspicious and a good spot for a calf. Quietly we walked along the fence so we didn’t spook the sleeping newborn if she was indeed in there. It was much easier to see the little pile of calf from the wrong side of the fence rather than the right side of the fence.
Startling a sleeping baby is not a good thing to do since they usually bolt and run the wrong direction. I nearly walked right up to the baby before I saw her in the middle of the brush on the wrong side of the fence. I gently woke her up by stroking her back and murmuring softly. When she started to wake, I urged her to stand up. The fence was too low in this spot for her to get back over to the other side so I had to coax her to walk along the fence before finding a spot where I could lift the barb wire enough for her to get back to her mother. By that time the whole herd was there along the fence and the noise was tremendous.
All is well now that we have Vespa reunited with her mother.
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I am delighted to announce that the new book by MaryJane Nordgren, Nandria’s War, is available to the public and can be purchased through my website, SchmidlinAngusFarms.com! And is now available on Kindle also.