Update: Jan. 22, 2018
Caffey has her wings now. She will always be a guardian angel for her species.
Try as we might we just couldn’t save that little chocolate lady. Her breathing worsened and even with antibiotics she succumbed to injuries from being stepped on by others in the herd and ultimately pneumonia. Sure am taking it hard. I sure loved that little girl.
Meet Caffey~ This little lady has had a very rough beginning. She was born a few minutes before midnight Friday night in the field to a new heifer that obviously isn’t ready to be a mother. This little calf belongs to a friend of ours that we have been helping. We stopped over to check on our friend to day and also go and check the cows too for we knew a calf had been born the other night. We found the calf laying in the mud & water with a much older calf standing on her.
We picked her up and brought her into a shelter rubbed her down and tried to dry her off. Her mother was disinterested but we herded her in the shelter with her calf hoping we could get her to suckle. The calf was so weak and cold she had started rolling her eyes and giving up. I wasn’t ready to let her give up.
We talked with our friend about trying to get some milk and she suggested her brother in law who is a dairymen. As the mother cow, being a beef cow wasn’t having any part of being touched let alone milked. Our friend called and luckily her brother in law had just had a Holstein cow freshen and had the milk available full of cholostrom. He was going to milk around 4 pm and we met him at his dairy barn with calf in tow.
Being an ole dairyman myself It has been 35 years since I have had calves this young. Oh
we have had feeder/market steer calves much older than a newborn, so I haven’t raised a newborn calf in quite a long time. Our friend asked if we would want to take her on and try and save her and really I didn’t need to be asked I plan on doing my darndest to save this little heifer.
We were in luck the dairyman had an esophageal tube so we could tube feed the calf and deliver the milk straight to her stomach. Then we bottled the rest of the milk and brought it and the calf home to keep her going. We have her warmed up nestled in a clean bed of straw and resting even have her suckling our fingers. That’s a good sign so let’s hope we can keep her going. We checked her over to make sure none of her legs are broke from the others standing on her but hopefully when they stepped on her rib cages we are hoping there are no internal injuries or bleeding. If she makes it through the next 48 hours we have a good chance of her making it. I have my fingers crossed and am saying a lot of prayers. We so appreciate Mr. Eichorn’s donating the much needed milk and the wealth of info he offered.
As I told my friend today “I’m a cattle woman again.” Nothing like the smell of a suckling calf and watching them grow. I have missed it but I didn’t know how much I had missed it until today!