- 37 calves;
- Two stillbirths replaced by two successful adoptions—one rife with drama worthy of an RFD Channel production; the other fairly routine, if a little gross, that involved fashioning an Angus/Simmental disguise for the predominantly white Holstein bull calf using the dead calf’s black pelt and smearing it with the cow’s afterbirth; and the latest adventure…
Two days after the second adoption, as Bill was making his morning rounds beginning with our home pastures, he found Cow #307 and a new calf near the west fence of our east pasture, not far from our house. As he was writing the cow’s number on an ear tag for the calf, he saw another set of small hooves on the opposite side of the cow. Twins! He ear tagged both calves and determined one was a bull, the other a heifer.
The concern with twins is the mother may reject one calf and not let it nurse; or when she moves around the pasture to graze, she may not be diligent in taking both with her. Fortunately, Cow #307’s choice of delivery room was close, about sixty yards, to the gate into the smaller corral pasture. This pasture, about an acre in size, provides a confined space to encourage family bonding.
When Bill herded the new family toward the gate into the corral pasture, the heifer lagged behind. No problem, he would go back and get her. But when he returned to where he left her, she was gone. Oh-oh! She couldn’t have wandered far but trying to find her in the tall grass could become an intensive search-and-find mission. He stood in place and looked around the area for a couple of minutes, finally spotting her on top of a terrace. He loaded her into the back of his pickup and hauled her to the corral to rejoin the family.
After several days of quality time together, Bill was confident Cow #307 would be a good mama to both calves. He released the new family into the small pasture with the first-calf heifers, which is close to the house so we can watch to be sure the bond continues.
Did we name the twins? Of course we did: Bonnie and Clyde.