January 3, 2011

Little Baby calf will be one week old tomorrow.  She is spending nights with her mom and days alone in the barn wearing her flashy new green halter, which goes on in the morning and comes off at night.  Today she got started working with the lead rope.  I clipped it to her halter and followed behind while she bucked and kicked tried to escape the rope.  Then each child got a turn following her around keeping the rope high enough to safeguard those precious tiny legs.  She did well and we released her after 20 minutes or so.  Everyday she accepts the halter more easily.  I assume it will be the same with the rope.

Her mother, Little Red, is coming along as a milk cow.  This week she gets grain in the morning and grain in the evening.  At dinner she gets milked.  I only take two cups and leave the rest for Baby who nurses all night.  I still don't trust Little Red enough to pull up a stool and sit to milk.  But she quit trying to kick me several days ago.  Three days ago I shaved her udder.  Two days ago I introduced the concept of having a scary bucket at your feet.  She flipped out, kick kick kicking it as hard as she could.  I just left it there under her and let her do her best to demolish the hated bucket.  It didn't work.  The bucket is still there.  Now she has to step over it to get to her grain.  I think (hope) that contest is won.   I believe she is shaping up to be a fine family milk cow.  She'll go up for sale after her calf is weaned in, perhaps, a couple of months.

The kids did a great job working with Baby.  They stayed calm and were very gentle with her.

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