Thursday, 24 April 2014

Talking to the animals

Whenever I visit my family I am surrounded by animals of all kinds. It's a welcome change from my urban life, where I admire other people's dogs from afar. 

Sometime yesterday one of the heifers gave birth to a female calf, chocolate brown with soft curls. Her mother seemed to take little interest and the calf was left alone, breathing heavily and rapidly. The calf was able to stand up but seemed exhausted by the effort. Meanwhile the mother looked on and moved away whenever the calf approached. The calf sniffed my legs and groin, imagining that I might have milk to offer. I didn't. Somehow, the calf managed to attach herself to the mother's udder, but this was short lived when the mother wandered off. 

Another cow tried to nudge the calf towards its mother. The calf responded by trying to drink from it. 

We decided to separate the cow and her calf from the rest of the herd. We got them into a separate paddock, carrying the calf part of the way. While the calf rested in the shade of a tree, the mother bellowed and stared at us but made no move to be near her calf.  We ran her up along the fence line towards a smaller yard and then the cow climbed over the fence - back into the paddock from which we'd just removed her! A horse was saddled and the job finally completed. 

I've named the calf "Kylie", even though she's not mine to name. I hope it sticks and I hope she makes it.

Checking each other out.
Copyright 2014 divacultura

We tried to feed Kylie on the bottle but she didn't like that much either. 
Trying the bottle.
Copyright 2014 divacultura

I decided that Shirley the lamb was a better prospect as I explained she would one day help me knit a jumper!

Shirley the lamb
Copyright 2014 divacultura 

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