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A Sad Day

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I tried to do a post yesterday, but our internet would not allow me to get past the heading,so I’m continuing where I left off.

When we got to the farm on Sunday morning, we had a wonderful surprise. One of our cows had calved!! 🙂 At last! So there was this brand new, fluffy white little baby. So why am I only now telling you this? Here’s the story.

We were so excited about our new baby, but we tried to keep our distance a bit. We watched mom watching over her new calf, and we saw little calf falling around on his spindly little legs. But, I never saw him drink from his mom. Being new to all of this, I thought that maybe I’m being paranoid, and that it takes a while for the little one to find his way. We went back to the farm in the evening to check on them, and little one was lying in the grass, sleeping. So, all seemed fine.

Next day I kept worrying that I haven’t seen baby drink yet, but he seemed content. He didn’t cry for his mother and he didn’t seem distressed in any way. When I got to the farm on Tuesday morning, I knew something was wrong, so we took mom and baby to the kraal, and milked her and fed baby some milk. We did this a few times, but he didn’t seem too interested. I tried until late Tuesday evening to get him to drink enough, but wasn’t sure how much he was actually swallowing. We didn’t know what to do – leave him with mom, and hoping that he would drink some during the night, or take him home and keep trying to force feed him. In the end we left them in the kraal, so they were in an enclosed area, and mom could look after him.

When we got there yesterday morning, our little calf had died. He was just too weak to make it through the cold night.

I was devastated. Still am.

But at the same time, when we arrived on the farm very early yesterday, another cow had calved! But would you believe it – the same problem! The calf doesn’t know how to drink!! I didn’t know that something like that was possible. Fortunately, being a little wiser, we started milking mom and feeding the baby, but he just does not know how to feed!!! It’s crazy! He knows where the udder and teats are, but he does not know how to get to the milk. We’ve tried forcing mom’s teat into his mouth, hoping he’ll suck, but he just doesn’t know what to do. I’m hoping we’ll be able to save this little one – I’ll keep at it, forcing milk down his throat, and hopefully somewhere along the line, he’ll catch on.

If any of you have any ideas on what we can do, please help!

In the meantime, I’m off to the farm again to try and get more milk into the scrawny little thing.

First baby.

Mother and baby.

I haven’t taken pictures of the new baby yet, I’ll wait until he is able to feed properly.

Bye for now, need to go and feed the baby.


About zelmare

In a nutshell: I'm a woman of 'a certain age', I recently moved after living in the same area for 27 years, i raised 3 absolutely fabulous kids (I'm sure you will hear a lot about them, since I am a very proud mama), got divorced, and in due course, met and fell in love with the most amazing man, and i moved to a small town called Nylstroom. A lot of my blogs will most probably be about my new life, my family and friends, and my interests, which are taking pictures, travelling, food, re-decorating, music and books. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of lovely new friends and interesting people! :)

17 responses »

  1. Ag nee mammie!! 😦 Dis sooooooo hartseer!!!! ;( Baie sterkte daarso!!! EK hoop hierdie enetjie maak dit!!! ❤ **

  2. I clicked the “like” button because this is a well written post with a lot of emotion but then I promptly unclicked it because this is just so sad. What are the chances that you would get two babies that don’t know how to drink from their mommy. That is soooo sad :(. I hope the second baby is doing ok, and I really hope this was just a big fluke and won’t happen again! Hugs to you!!

  3. Oh that is sad and I didn’t realize that the little ones wouldn’t know how to get milk. My thoughts are with you and I hope the baby gets the hang of things and has a wonderful life. Good luck!

    • Thank you very much. So far, no luck – we basically have to force milk into him, but I’m still hoping that he’ll suddenly realize what needs to be done.

  4. That is terrible about the calf, I really hope this new one works it out. I have heard of it, but I don’t know how to get it to drink, I seem to remember something about smell, but I could be completely wrong, good luck please keep us informed. 😦

    • Thank you. Yes, smell has to do with it somehow – mother to baby, baby to mother and baby to milk, but these 2 little ones seem to have absolutely no sense of anything. So far, not much luck, but he’s still alive…

  5. Oh, so sad. I hope the second one is okay. Keep us posted.

  6. I’m sorry your having trouble getting the calves to milk from their mom. I don’t know anything about farming, but my heart totally goes out to you!

  7. Zelmare…..I’ve been away on vacation. I’m so sorry to hear about your first calf. Good luck with the second one. I wish I knew what to do…but I’m totally clueless. Nowadays with the internet….is there anything you can find out on it?
    I’m thinking about you…..hoping with the passage of time (it’s now Aug. 10) that he’s doing well and running around the corral…


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