Sunday, August 29, 2010

Calf disappeared

Not to worry; I found him.  
It's been a week since Bonnie had her calf, and I decided to turn them out into the big pasture where Bonnie could get better quality grazing and she and her calf would have lots of shade trees where they could hang out and cool off.  Cliff asked me what my hurry was, and I told him, "No hurry; I'd just like her to have better pasture."  
"I don't see what they're hurting in the pen," he said.  
Turning them out, I watched to see that the horses didn't try anything with the new calf, but they were mainly interested in getting into the pen they've been locked out of for three weeks.  
A couple hours later, Cliff and I took our walk; toward the end of that, we found Bonnie in one of her favorite hideaways, chewing her cud.  Alas, no Clyde was evident.  I noticed Bonnie kept her gaze in the one certain direction at all times, so I figured I'd go in that direction until I found the calf.  Iris was with me, and her presence always makes the cow nervous.  
I'd walked several yards when Bonnie got nervous and decided to follow me.  I kept walking, and pretty soon she started lowing for her calf.  Then the lowing turned to bellowing.  I was looking to my right, figuring the calf was in the tall weeds and brush along the fence.  Cliff got tired of this nonsense and headed for the house.  
When the calf is older and wiser, he'll have learned to answer his mom's bawling; now, however, he only bawls if he's hungry and she isn't in sight.  
I noticed all the ditches and ravines along the east fence-line where a calf might get into trouble, even a strong, week-old calf, and silently cursed myself for not listening to Cliff.  
I gave up the hunt, figuring eventually Clyde would answer his mom and they would re-unite; I headed west, away from the fence, and found myself looking at Clyde.  He wasn't hidden at all, but was curled up comfortably in the full sun.  
I tried driving them back to the barn, but Bonnie knew my plan, and turned and ran in the opposite direction.  I was getting hot out there and it was almost time to cook dinner, so I gave up the chase.  
Just a while ago, with dinner over, I took my stock prod and went looking for the pair again.  They were in the shade, not so far from where I had left them before.  This time Bonnie allowed herself to be herded straight in the direction of the barn.  I wondered what had caused her change in attitude; turns out she wasn't thinking about going to the barn, she was headed to the waterer.  She drank deeply, and while she drank, Clyde went through the big gate into the pen; with her thirst quenched, Bonnie followed.  
For a few days, at least, I think I'll keep the calf in the stall at night and allow Bonnie access to the big pasture if she wants to go out there.  During the day, they can both stay in the big lot where I can keep an eye on Clyde.

3 comments:

madcobug said...

Glad that you found Clyde. Helen

small farm girl said...

When I read your title, my heart dropped to my feet. Thanks for the scare. lol

Muhd Imran said...

Little children are always up to something.