Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Freya saves the day

Suckling calf - always a welcome sight

Suckling calf – always a welcome sight

We recently had to have a cow put down after she broke a leg; not a great Saturday night that one! The financial loss added to the distress at losing an animal we have come to know well, over the last four years. Of course once the most immediate problem of disposing of her body was sorted out, we had to consider her 10 week old calf. Hardly surprisingly, he was distressed (as were the rest of the herd) and adding to his state would very soon be hunger since he had, until then, only been eating his mum’s milk.

Feeding one calf by hand would be a very time-consuming job but one that we would have to take on to ensure we didn’t lose him too. In these kind of circumstances, one tends to imagine what might appear to be the best outcome. In this case, our thoughts were very much – ‘wouldn’t it be good if another cow allowed him to take some milk from her’. Amazingly, the following morning, perfectly on queue for us to see it happen, our orphaned calf snuck up behind a cow called Freya and took a long drink. We’ll need to keep a careful watch on both, but it looks possible that Freya might just save the day.

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