June 03, 2014

Bringing home a cow- introducing a bottle

I wish you could have tagged along with us yesterday.
What an adventure!
Bringing home a baby cow is pretty fun.

We got our cow from a local dairy farmer.  He is so nice.  He actually just gave us the calf and we're still waiting for another bull calf to be born.  Dairy farmers don't usually keep the bulls.  A truck comes and picks them up once a week to raise them for veal or beef, depending on their size.  T-bone is pretty big, he may have been beef.

We have a rope halter and thought little T-bone would just follow us out to our van.  Ha!  He was a bit more bull-headed.  We had to push and pull and finally lift him into the van.
At home he was nervous and didn't want to enter his stall.
We tried tempting him with food, but couldn't get him to eat either.
Cute little cow.
He is still a bit scarey to me.
We left for a time to attend a picnic on the lawn, band concert.  We got ice cream afterwards and then came home to cow and bed.  Drew and I did cow, Todd did little girls, Jakob did Benny boy.
Little T had a hard time latching on.  Our bottle nipple is too new and so are we.  It took a few calls to experienced cow mothers and the farmer we adopted him from to realize we needed to cut the nipple bigger and poke open the air release hole.  Once the bottle was fixed, he gulped down his dinner.
He wags his tail while he slurps.

Drew woke up early this morning to fix a warm bottle-- he reported another successful feeding.  (We feed him twice a day.)

Drew's going to care for this guy well.  T-bone's lucky to be here, he is loved by many.

We have a cow!
Life is good.

4 comments:

A Saunders said...

Don't feed the calf laying down. These baby calves get sick very easily. We have raised only 5 so far- lost one after much doctoring and praying it was hard! So always tell our kids to be prepared for it to die as it is a very real part of raising orphan livestock. Over feeding is more harmful than underfeeding right now. It only has a tiny tummy. But lots of love from kiddos is okay. Good luck- and it's easy to eat them in 2 years as the cuteness wears off as they get big and messy.

A Saunders said...

Don't feed the calf laying down. These baby calves get sick very easily. We have raised only 5 so far- lost one after much doctoring and praying it was hard! So always tell our kids to be prepared for it to die as it is a very real part of raising orphan livestock. Over feeding is more harmful than underfeeding right now. It only has a tiny tummy. But lots of love from kiddos is okay. Good luck- and it's easy to eat them in 2 years as the cuteness wears off as they get big and messy.

Jenifer Moss said...

Thanks for the tips!! (We were actually trying to lure the calf up with the milk... Didn't work.)
I love this adventure-- glad to know you've done it and survived! Please tell me all you think I should know!

Doreen Barker said...

Keep an eye on the poop. Bloody poops means you have to change what you're doing. Typically, it only happens when they get dehydrated. It happens really fast in calves though.
I recommend having a package or two of electrolytes on hand. You can pick them up at Tractor Supply.
The biggest thing is to keep them clean and dry with a nice place to sleep at night.

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