As I detailed earlier in my post of May 9, 2019, I shared what happened to our neighbor’s cow whose birth was stillborn. That turned into a traumatic event for the bovines, we humans and our canines. Fortunately, our neighbor found a cute little bottle calf, whom he named Delilah (who has the BIGGEST brown eyes and long eyelashes ever), is now bigger, stronger, and friskier as ever. Taking part in this experience has been a real learning curve.
Looking back, I think the mama cow must have suffered from post-partum depression after the loss of her calf – she refused to nurse the bottle calf and refused to have anything to do with this “upstart.” To avoid the baby dying from starvation, our neighbor saw to it Delilah was fed three times a day – completely bottle fed – big bottles for a big baby. Hubby and I filled in on the days our neighbor traveled, so I learned first-hand what it’s like to feed a big baby. At first little Delilah turned up her nose to that BIG baby bottle, but once she chugged down some sweet milk, she must have changed her mind, thinking, “hey, this isn’t half bad. Let me have some more.” Within no time, lickety split, she finished two bottles in record time. Watching Delilah run to that big baby bottle reminded me of what I must look like when I see a gallon of Blue Bell Ice Cream in the freezer.
Since May, mama cow has had a change of heart toward Delilah, nudging her to better feed (she’s now eating grass and pellets), hovering around her, while Papa bull stands by proudly protecting and overseeing his little “family.” A friend suggested our farm life would make a great TV show; but I’m not holding my breath on that.
Through these last several months I’ve learned it takes a community to help others. I guess this should start with me – so let’s see, who can I help today?
Tagged: bottle feed, calf, care, community, cow, family, nursing