May 11, 2011

The Graft

When a calf dies, we often try to get the mother to adopt a calf whose mom is either unable or unwilling to take of him.  A calf might die because of a birth defect, but the cow will go on to produce healthy calves in later calving seasons.  We want to save her, instead of sell her, especially if she is a "good" mom, so we try to keep her milk production up until we have a calf that needs a new mom.  Candidates for adoption would be calves whose moms are sick, crazy, or who don't have milk.  A sick cow cannot care for her calf because of the physical toll it takes on her body.  The crazy cow kicks her calf away, sometimes killing him before we can get to him.  Then there is the occasional cow that doesn't make enough milk, and her calf doesn't thrive.  In these cases, we will take the calf off its mom and "graft" it to a good mom.  A good mom is healthy enough to take care of the calf, has plenty of good quality milk, and likes her calf.  She cleans him off when he's born, encourages him to nurse, and stays near him. 

Tonight my husband had to put down a calf who wasn't going to pull through a severe infection.  We had another calf whose mom wasn't making enough milk, and we'd been bottle-feeding him for at least a week.  Bertha brought the live calf down to the shed in the calving pasture.  Together we skinned the dead calf.  Almost as soon as we were finished, the dead calf's mom walked into the corral, mooing for her calf.  She stood right where her calf should have been, sniffing the ground, eyeing us with suspicion.  We chased her into a pen right outside the shed.  She could hear the sickly calf inside.  We took the skin and made holes for his arms and legs.  Then we slipped the skin on the calf.  It looked like a very warm coat.  Then we let the mom inside.  She sniffed the calf.  She knew something was different, but she kept him close by, mooing softly at him.  We coaxed them into the pen, got the cow into the head catch, and positioned the calf to nurse.  He took off right away, eagerly slurping down the warm milk.  She calmed right down, and pretty soon we let her out of the head catch.  The calf went right back to nursing, very peacefully.  A situation that could have been sad (for the good mom) and costly (for us) had a happy ending for both. 


ninest123 said...

polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, gucci outlet, nike air max, nike roshe run, sac longchamp, ralph lauren pas cher, burberry, air jordan pas cher, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, longchamp, christian louboutin outlet, louboutin, chanel handbags, tory burch outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, nike free, louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, jordan shoes, michael kors, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, replica watches, prada handbags, uggs on sale, louboutin shoes, louboutin pas cher, air max, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, replica watches, nike free

ninest123 said...

north face outlet, nike huarache, lululemon, soccer shoes, giuseppe zanotti, iphone 6s plus cases, valentino shoes, chi flat iron, wedding dresses, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6 plus cases, louboutin, reebok shoes, vans, nike air max, nike air max, celine handbags, vans shoes, mac cosmetics, nike roshe, herve leger, oakley, insanity workout, s5 cases, ralph lauren, p90x workout, iphone 6 cases, beats by dre, hollister, longchamp, iphone 6s cases, hollister, iphone cases, babyliss, mont blanc, bottega veneta, nfl jerseys, ipad cases, new balance, ferragamo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, hollister, asics running shoes, baseball bats, jimmy choo shoes, instyler, north face outlet, soccer jerseys, nike trainers, timberland boots, birkin bag, ghd

ninest123 said...

canada goose, moncler, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, barbour jackets, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, canada goose outlet, thomas sabo, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, links of london, pandora charms, converse outlet, moncler, gucci, juicy couture outlet, barbour, moncler, pandora jewelry, supra shoes, montre pas cher, moncler, wedding dresses, converse, doudoune canada goose, moncler, moncler, marc jacobs, louis vuitton, ugg boots uk, ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, lancel, pandora charms, coach outlet, sac louis vuitton pas cher, replica watches, toms shoes, ray ban, moncler, swarovski crystal, karen millen, bottes ugg, moncler outlet, canada goose, canada goose uk, canada goose, canada goose, swarovski, hollister