I’ve been running around this past week for various reasons.
A new calf (with a story, of course!), and a 50th birthday that I had to arrange. But today is all about the story of the new calf…
Last week this time, we had 3 cows very close to having their calves. I kept a very close watch on them, especially one that I just had a feeling would be the first one to calf. On Tuesday, there were some signs that the birth of the calf was imminent, and I kept driving past the Brahmans, to make sure she was okay. I saw her at around 2pm, and then when I got back from some errands, I saw her again, but something was different. She was still grazing with the other cows, but without going into too much gory detail, I had a very uneasy feeling. I said to my farm workers that we need to get her into the kraal, so that we can keep an even closer eye on her, in case the same thing happens again…
Well, that was some fun… We had a very hard time getting her into the kraal (we had to put them all into the kraal, and then try and separate her from the rest), and she kept fighting ferociously to get out, which she managed to do. Eventually I decided to leave her out, and let nature take it’s course.
I hardly slept that night, worrying about her and the calf. Very early the next morning, I rushed out to the farm, and told my cattle hand to come to the Brahmans with me. Again, she was grazing peacefully with the other cows. I watched her for a while, and said to Lucas – this cow has had her calf, I’m sure of it. (This might sound stupid and obvious, but believe me, shortly after the birth of a calf, it’s not obvious looking at a cow.) I decided that we have to search the breadth and length of the camp they were in, so we set off.
I was about halfway up, when Lucas came from the other side, shouting that he’s found the calf. My heart dropped into my shoes…not again, please!
Anyway, to make a very long story short, she had her calf the previous day, like my instinct screamed out at me, but it seems that she was not interested, or too stupid to know what to do. We forced her and the calf into the small camp, and left them with food and water, hoping they would bond.
Now I know this sounds easy, but this cow seemed like she had mad cow disease. She was ferocious! She kept storming us, kicking up dust and snorting at us. The one guy even had to climb up a tree to escape from her anger!! She stormed at the fence a couple of times, and nearly broke through.
Anyway, within the next 24 hours, they have ‘found’ each other, and now, 5 days later, they are walking around with all the other cows, and mom and baby are both doing wonderfully well!!!! I am SO very happy that we’ve at last got a new calf that I can tell everybody about.