For the past three weeks, life around here has circled a lot around four new bovine arrivals. A tiny Holstein, three-weeks premature, was given to us on the 14th of September. Given that he was so premature and weighed only 55 lbs, we were not surprised when he fell sick within the first 24 hours of life. Some “tender loving care,” which involved getting up a couple times during the nights to stuff a tube down his throat to feed him, soon had him on his feet.
No sooner was Ground Beef well again, than we received another email: there were two more calves to give away. This time there was a sturdy-looking Ayrshire and another sickly, three-week premature Holstein. I thought we could only take one since the van wasn’t available, however, we discovered that calves do fit quite nicely into feed sacks, so they both came home with us.
Except for needing to be taught to drink from a bottle, Steak, the Ayrshire, got off to a good start. He quickly understood halters and enjoyed promenading around on the lawn and visiting with Caleb! Though he didn’t escape disease entirely, his bout of scours was relatively short.
Wiener Schnitzel, on the other hand, has been in the CICU (Calf Intensive Care Unit) since he was born. Twice, he got scours, and now, though over the scouring, he appears to have pneumonia. It is amazing to see the way God is keeping this calf alive! Many times, we’ve thought he wouldn’t make it through the night, and each time, he has! (When a calf is running a fever and breathing 100 times/minute while it’s pulse is over 200 beats/minute, there isn’t much hope for it…) He is unmistakably God’s calf.
And all that week of picking up free calves, we were eagerly looking forward to the arrival of another calf, namely Mocha’s, which at that point was already a week overdue. Finally on the 21st, Mischief arrived. And she lives up to her name! She is lively, mischievous… and stubborn! She was certainly the most difficult to photograph – she wouldn’t stand still for more than a second or two!
Mischievous resembles her older sister Hershey a lot and so far has taken after her in staying healthy too! Here is a comparison of the two of them at a few days old:
And the story goes on… Wiener Schnitzel is still on not-quite-24-hour care. We have learned a lot through the whole process. As a side note: when caring for ultra sick calves, extreme attention to sanitation is highly recommended in order to avoid catching what the calves have… I thought I was being careful, but apparently I wasn’t cautious enough. 🙁 Thankfully I didn’t get nearly as sick.
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God. I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me. I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: and call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Psalm 50:7-15