Wednesday, November 04, 2015
The calves are settling in
The two Holsteins are doing fine health-wise. The tiny heifer quickly recovered from her diarrhea (no doubt due in part to the Hydrocodone I accidentally gave her). They both let me know when they are hungry.
The three calves seem to have no problem taking all of Grace's milk, since she never has more than a quart left when I take her into the barn to make sure she is getting milked out. Last night I separated her from the three calves so I could steal a gallon of milk this morning before they had their breakfast.
The Holstein bull calf is pretty aggressive when it comes time to eat, and I think he will do fine nursing the cow next week during our two-day trip with the tractor club. The freemartin heifer still needs to be pushed to the source when she's hungry; otherwise she just follows me around bawling, thinking I'm the source. So I will probably have the grandson offer her half a bottle of milk replacer a couple of times while I'm gone, just to make sure she doesn't get starved out. We'll see how she's doing this weekend.
Cliff and I put dehorning paste on Luna, Grace's baby, last night. The Holstein heifer had already had this done at the dairy; she must have been born before her brother and they didn't know yet she was a freemartin, because she also had ear tags in place so they'd know who she was. Tonight we'll try to castrate the Holstein bull calf and put dehorning paste on him, and that should take care of all the painful procedures the babies have to undergo. I don't plan to wean these kids and replace them with other calves like I did last year. I'll just let them take care of milking Grace until she's ready to be dried up for her next calf. That's the plan, if only things go along as they should. I am VERY thankful that the grandson won't have to learn how to milk a cow in order for us to go on our trip. He was willing, I'll give him that.
I am REALLY excited with anticipation for the trip to Kansas!