Baby Fetty - Our Trap Cow
Our second to last calf of the season was born on March 29th. A little bull calf born to a very experienced and great mamma I call Snout. Snout is such a great mamma she takes care of ALL the calves. She protects them, nurses them, and loves them...ALL OF THEM. So when this little bull calf came into the world he was already in trouble. The cows typically have their babies out in the wooded pastures and bring the baby to the rest of the herd the next day.
When Snout didn't show up with the rest of the gals at feeding time we knew something was wrong. She was finally found quite far away from the herd, gently calling to her baby to get up, and get moving so she could go eat. He slowly wobbled behind her until they made it to the pasture where he collapsed. He had one eye that appeared blind and was weeping. I checked on the calf without getting too close for the protective moms comfort. Although he was pooped he still appeared alert so we decided to give them a chance out in the pasture together overnight.
The next afternoon at feeding time Snout was once again missing. We jumped back in the truck and started searching. We found her up the road voraciously eating all the grass around her while her little bull calf was tucked up taking a nap. She started calling out to him when we got out of the truck. He tried to stand several times and kept falling over. After several attempts he finally held steady on those feet and bobbed and weaved all of the road following mamma to the pasture. As excited as we were that he made it through the night and long day, we knew our work for the evening was just beginning. We had about 2 hours of daylight left.
I took the girls back to the house to make a bottle while Elmo got his rope and hay ready....that calf is going in the corral.
We shut all the right gates from the pasture to the corral and started herding mamma and baby up. Snout wanted nothing to do with this. She snorted, huffed, and charged at us relentlessly! Luckily we had a little more help when my MIL came to sit with the girls in the truck and my FIL helped herd them up. There's nothing quite as scary as a pissed off mama cow trying to protect her baby!!
After an hour and half, they were far enough up the alley and Elmo finally had a chance to rope the little guy. Roped, Elmo took off running as fast as her could dragging the baby behind him to the corral. SUCCESS! We immediately got into the corral with the calf and got that bottle in his mouth. He wasn't happy but didn't have much fight in him either. After about a half bottle his tummy was feeling full and we decided to leave him to mamma.
We bottle fed him for the next two days and everyday he was a little bit stronger until he was up and running! Without the other calves to tend to, Snout is making more than enough for the little bull to keep his tummy full.
Now that he's going to make it, let's put some attention to his eye and his name. Due to his one eye having some trouble we've been calling him Baby Fetty, you know, like Fetty Wap the rapper. Because he only has one eye so we thought it was fitting.
We've been pulling Fetty from Snout for the past three days to give him doses of penicillin. Some directly in the eye and some right in the tush. His eye has been responding great to it and there's still hope he might regain vision! The plan is to turn mamma and calf out with the rest of the herd this week. He's strong enough to start adventuring and seeing the great big world for himself...even if only out of one eye.