23 May 2010
Mother and calf spent the morning in the shade of an old tree before both walking of and joining the rest of the herd. A slight delay posting due to the heat practically melting one of the cables inside the PC yesterday. Perhaps we need to move the PC away from the French Windows!!!
Still warm and a little muggy here; the bunnies are not to happy about it preferring to come inside and hide under the beds in the cooler bedrooms.
21 May 2010
Finally its warm enough to eat outside without a roaring wood fire and six jumpers, but tonight had added drama as well. A lone cow had been standing in the reed bed all evening, still and solitary; unusual behaviour as they usually always travel and move as a herd. Some time later the Farmer arrived in his pickup having spotted her himself as he did his rounds. It soon became sadly apparent that she had given birth in the reed bed and lost the calf. However to our surprise another calf appeared from out of the long reeds, urged on by the farmer to stand and make its way to the mother.
Twin calves; but unfortunately this had led to a problem in the calf's front feet being folded over, making it hard for it to stand and feed from the mother. The farmer left to collect a dry milk mix and we helped him by supplying the fresh water to mix it as we are the nearest house to the field.
Trying to get the calf to feed from the mother was not working so it was time for the bottle, however the mother seemed rather interested in the feed as well which meant the farmers hand had to be called on to keep the mother occupied whilst the calf was given a full bottle...
The area near the reeds is to boggy for the calf to be left out overnight so the farmer decided to move the calf and mother to the higher dry ground. Talking to him afterwards he seemed to think one bottle would be enough to keep it sustained for the night and he would then re check it tomorrow and decide if it would need splints for a while to support the front feet until they strengthened.
To be honest I had no idea that these yearly visitors to the fields actually gave birth freely in the reed beds, but the farmer told us how its a favourite spot for the mothers and they regularly keep calves there for days often without his knowledge. I thought everything was clinical and controlled these days and it was nice to find it isn't.