The hardest part of calving is after-calving. It’s the days, weeks and months ahead whereby we work to keep the little critters alive, safe from predators, free from disease and well-fed and nurtured. Most of the time the calves jump up a few minutes after birth and head right to their mother’s teats and begin to suck. That first drink, and hopefully that happens within the first hour, sets the tone for the health and ability to thrive for the young one going forward.
On occasion though we have a challenge. This fella from 8U cow is blind. He had a hard birthing experience which may have affected his vision or it may just be his fate. But for these first days he needs a little gentle assist from us to find those precious vessels where he can access his mother’s milk. Eventually we expect he will be able to sniff her out and do this all on his own. We sure will keep this pair close to home. For now, we’re quite willing and able to help him along.
Of course, any animal that gets this kind of special attention gets his own name. I call him Ugo.