Back in the archives of this blog is a story titled “Gentle Assist” (April 14,2015). It’s about our blind calf from cow #8U and how we gently assisted him to find his mom to suckle in his early days of existence. Well the “little” fella has thrived over the past eight months. Living close to home and to us to keep a watchful eye has provided him a fairly pampered life. Turns out he and his mom did quite well finding each other in the fields of our home. He would sniff her out quite well while they lived in a pen together and as he grew older we found he could roam around our pastures and she would always seek him out for his daily feed.
But the day came to wean him and now he’s ” my project”. Every single year, it seems, I get a “project” amongst our calves. A “project” means a cripple or disabled critter of some sort or another. So 8U’s calf (known as Ugo) now resides in his very own pen which used to be home for the kids’ 4-H calves, complete with shelter, straw bedding, hay and chop hand-delivered throughout the day and two visits from me with water from the pail. As soon as he feels my hand by his mouth he knows the pail of water is next. Weaning hasn’t been stressful for him at all. Being disabled for this little hombre has turned into a delightful life experience.
I figure this special treatment is the least I can do for him before he ends up in our freezer. Because, sadly, that’s where he’s bound. His condition will not favour us in the sales ring but he’ll certainly help us out in the grocery department.