Thursday, September 01, 2011


I turned Jody out with Bonnie and Max yesterday for the whole day.  My only concern was that she might nurse Bonnie, although at this point that wouldn't hurt my feelings much!  Oh yes, it would worry me, because she's old enough that she might take it all and Max wouldn't get his share.  This morning I actually saw her reach for a teat, and Bonnie kicked her hard.  Some calves learn a trick that fools the cow, though: They learn to wait until the cow's own baby is nursing, then sneak up and nurse from the back.  We used to live next door to a fully-grown bull who did this all the time, nursing cows that were two-thirds his size.  

Max is deliriously happy to have another youngster around; this is how he greets Jody when they first get together, and it happens several more times during the day.  

Here's the whole herd this morning.  Even Sassy is in the background.  Adam took Tude away for the weekend, so Sassy is the only horse on the place.  She doesn't even act like she misses Tude at all.  
"That's just like a woman," says Cliff.

Max is losing something very valuable to himself, but he doesn't know it, so it's OK.  His scrotum is about to drop off.  We use specially-made rubber bands to castrate bull calves.  Before they're even able to get up and walk around, Cliff uses an elastrator to stretch the rubber band and put it above the testicles; eventually the whole package dries up and falls off harmlessly. 

Oh, guess who's back?

The calico runt!  Notice she is less than half the size of her sister.  At least I assume they are sisters, they both nursed the mother cat.  And I've seen no other cats around.  

She has an appetite, I'll say that for her.   
I probably should put another disclaimer here about the milk:  I know veteranarians don't like cats to have milk.  But I have lots of milk and these cats were starving until I started feeding them.  They are barn cats, and when I have milk, they are getting it.  I have cat food in case a day ever comes when I don't have to milk the cow.  (Dear God, let that day come!)


Paula said...

I always give my cat some milk for a treat because they love it so. I can't see where it hurts her unless I give her too much.

darev2005 said...

Just so you know, I could have done without that bit about the rubber band and his nuts falling off.

I'm just saying...

madcobug said...

Cute video. Glad that your runt cat showed back up. Guess it was hungry after being gone a day or so. Helen

Midlife Mom said...

Cute video of the calves. They sure look like they are having fun together. We always fed our barn cats milk. They loved it warm right out of the cow!


Max and Jody looked playful. Max more so. Glad the calico kitty came back with it's mom and sister. I hope the coyotes don't get 'em.

Lori said...

Loved watching the calves playing!