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Monday, February 18, 2013

I Can't Believe She Is Still Alive!

It's calving season here on our farm. I would like to tell you all that every calf is born healthy and full of energy and ready to take on the world, but that would be a lie.  We have had a couple of calves that were stillborn and a few that tried to come in an abnormal position.  Here is a great post from WagNFarms on how a calf is supposed to be born.

This calf was born in the correct position naturally by her mother, but her mother (a first time mother) did not take care of her after she was born.  It was about 35 degrees the morning she was born and she was cold when we found that her mother had totally abandoned her.  We quickly moved her to the "hot box," an enclosed box with a heater that would help her warm up.

After we checked all the other cows, we went back to check on her.  She was sitting up a little, but still looked pretty pathetic.  I fed her some colostrum, the first milk of a cow that is full of antibodies and high in energy.
 She spent the night sleeping in my mudroom.  I wasn't happy with the way she acted, so we put her back in the hot box while we did chores again. 

We suspect that she suffered from White Muscle Disease which is caused by a deficiency of either Selenium or Vitamin E.  She was a little better after a selenium injection, but not great.  I gave her an injection of liquid vitamin E and she really seemed to come around.  Antibiotics really didn't seem to be necessary at the time.

When we finished with chores, I opened the box to find her standing up!!  I did a little happy dance, petted her on the neck and I think I floated through the rest of the day.  I half expected her to be dead when I checked in on her.
It was beautiful sunny day, so I set her outside in the sunshine with a calf blanket, of course.  Mom still didn't want to take care of her, so we decided it was in her best interest to make her into a bottle baby.
 She spent the next 2 nights in the garage with the dogs babysitting her and afternoons...
under my kitchen window.

Our 7 year old is currently in charge of fixing her bottles and making sure she gets fed.

We built her a little shed out of hay, that is warmer than just boards keeping the drafty winds out. She loves to lay in in.

Our little man had to go in and make sure she liked it OK.  LOL

 We are now asking for your help!  We are having trouble coming up with a name for her.  Our seven year old wants you to help us!  Give me your names here in the comments or on Facebook and he will pick her name from the list.

UPDATE: To see the list of names and the one that was selected please go to this post...And He Named the Little Heifer.

-A Kansas Farm Mom