Little What's-his-name is running to mom for comfort, in this picture. He just discovered the electric fence.
We have the little lot, which is right outside our front door. That's where we put him and his mom at first. Then we propped the blue gate open a little so they can go on out in the bigger lot if they want.
This is the bigger lot, where we keep my horse Blue since he foundered. Cliff and his sister have their garden in the big lot, surrounded by electric fence.
There are several reasons I can't let Bonnie and What's-his-name out into the pasture with the other cows. First of all, I have to watch the calf closely for signs of scours (diarrhea). He's getting more very rich milk than he actually needs, and sometimes this can cause problems in a young calf. It isn't a huge problem as long as it's caught early; I have all the stuff on hand to correct the situation, should it happen.
Also, we have some areas of the pasture surrounded by electric fence. A young calf needs to be trained to this, and the wire around the garden in the big lot is a perfect training tool. A little calf, when he first encounters the shock of an electric fence, won't always know to back up and get away from it; often he'll just go under until it quits hurting. Soon-to-be-Clyde (I think) disappeared today, and I found him napping in the sweet corn. I unhooked the electric fence and pushed him back out into the wide-open spaces with his mom. He turned around and went right back in about as soon as I hooked it back up, getting shocked and bawling pitifully as he forced his way under the wire.
I think he's almost figured it out now; I saw him jump back when he got too close to the wire, later on.
Don't feel too sorry for the calf.
Yesterday I was push-mowing my own garden, which is electric-fenced because our neighbors can't keep their horses home. I had unplugged the fence and was mowing away fearlessly. I backed up into the fence, my butt connected, and I got the shock of my life. How could this be? I had just unplugged it! I turned off the mower and stomped over to the lean-to on Cliff's shop and saw the cord dangling, unplugged; but it was swinging as though it had just been disconnected. Going on in, there was Cliff looking all apologetic. "I knew when I heard the lawn mower shut off, I was in trouble," he said.
Hmph. I think he's still evening up the score, since I kept him from the Wing Ding.