Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Calving comes around again – waiting for Zaphod

Chilli with calf (Trillian)

Chilli with calf (Trillian)

Two calves last Tuesday. Or at least Shiny produced a lovely but quite small heifer sometime during the previous night and Chilli a larger and energetic heifer during the morning whilst I was preparing some pea sticks. Both are doing well now that we have got past the annual worry that they won’t find mum’s teats to feed. They obviously don’t see clearly immediately after birth and they are presumably going completely on instinct, which is pretty amazing in itself. It does however, lead to some pretty long periods during which we pace about anxiously until we have to do something else.

This week, Shiny’s calf wasn’t seen feeding until Thursday and it’s only the production of urine and faeces that convinces us that they must be doing something right between them, without our help. It’s very difficult to watch a calf wandering around sucking bits of cow somewhat randomly. Worse when she moves to an individual that isn’t mum. They are quite gentle but even so, a light shove or kick from a 500kg beast can only be discouraging.

We’ve never had a healthy calf born that failed to find it’s first meal. Doesn’t stop us making a fuss though.

So then we think about names. As the first this spring is number 42, Shiny’s is going to be called ‘Heart of Gold’ and Chilli’s ‘Trillian’. Looking forward to the arrival of Marvin, Zaphod and Slartibartfast…

Made us laugh anyway.

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