On Sunday (4/3/16) Delilah 4.0 made his appearance into the world. He is by a Hereford bull and out of the most amazingly beautiful and wonderful Corriente cow in the world… Delilah, of course.
I had been doing “baby checks” 4 times a day for over 2 weeks and had decided that Delilah was never going to calve and that I should give up, so I didn’t shoot right out to the cow barn when I got up on Sunday morning. Instead I chose to have coffee and watch some Golden Girls. At about 8am MyFarmer gets a call from his buddy StephonDeweewee(I’m not even making this nickname up, that’s actually what we call him on a daily basis) and he says, “did you know there is a calf down here?”
*Insert scrambling to find pants, accusations of lying, and pulling on boots while running out the front door here*
You know those air-filled arm flappy things that car lots use to get your attention driving down the road? That was me.
Sure enough, there is a steamy little red calf just learning how to use his legs right out in front of the barn. First thing I notice is all of the cute “chrome” (white markings) on this calf…then that little thing hanging between his back legs. Another bull calf. I am 100% happy as long as I have a healthy momma and calf, but there is always a little ping of disappointment when I know that he won’t be able to stay with me forever and ever like a heifer calf (most likely) can. I get crazy attached to all of the baby calves, but I also understand what their place is in our lives. I am a firm believer that cows were put on this earth for the purpose of being a food source, but it is our responsibility to give them the utmost care and respect that they most certainly deserve while they are with us.
It is always incredible to watch these baby calves in their first few moments of life. It’s like watching a miracle right before your eyes. I love to watch them take their first wobbly steps and know exactly where they need to go – to get that first meal! The first milk produced by a cow after she calves contains colostrum that is rich in antibodies and it is imperative that the babies get this milk as quickly as possible for two main reasons: One, newborn calves do not have a fully developed immune system, so the colostrum is giving him or her the immunity they need to be healthy, happy, growing babies. The second reason is that baby calves bodies can only absorb the immunoglobulins from the colostrum for a short amount of time. Every hour old the calf is decreases its ability to absorb the antibodies, and by the time the calf is 24 hours old the gut essentially “shuts off” it’s ability to digest the large proteins. Moral of this story, those baby calves are in a hurry to get to the udder!
Enough of the boring jibber-jabber, let’s get to the real reason you clicked on this link.
BABY CALF PICTURES!
Lets have a look back on the 4 precious babies that Delilah has given us thus far!
Delilah 1.0: Trixie
Trixie was born on MyFarmer’s grandmothers birthday! We had just got home from town having her birthday dinner when I went to the barn to do a check and there was miss Trixie! She had somehow managed to get under the panel to where Delilah couldn’t get to her, so thank goodness I stopped to check when I did! Unfortunately Trixie ended up having an adverse reaction to the endophyte’s in fescue that caused her to have respiratory issues (not a common thing) and I had to sell her when she was a yearling.
Delilah 2.0: Sparky
This little momma’s twin was born the same day MyFarmer had to deal with a field fire (hence the name). I was CRUSHED when I found out he was a bull calf since he looked just like my precious Delilah. But my goodness he was a cutie!
Delilah 3.0: Stanley Zbornak
If you are a fan of The Golden Girls you will appreciate the last 2 calves names. Stanley was full of personality like his momma. The best part about him was that his ears just kept growing the older he got! We made jokes that he was going back to his deep Brahman roots! (Truth be told he got pretty goofy looking. Kind of one of those “so ugly he’s cute” deals.) Stan’s other claim to fame is that he was born on National Agriculture Day – that’s a pretty fitting birthday for a calf if you ask me!
Delilah 4.0: Salvador Petrillo
And that brings us to the present, little Sal. He is by far the smallest of the calves Delilah has had, and I cannot even handle how precious he is. He has that sweet butterfly on his head that makes my heart melt. I will enjoy every single moment I have with this precious little fella!
One cool thing that I didn’t intend on noticing going through the calf pictures was seeing how Delilah has changed over the past 4 years. Her horns will never stop growing and according to my vet there will be a “ring” on each horn (growth mark) for each calf she has had… and sure enough she has four rings! Pretty neat factoid.
This post would be complete without mentioning a VERY proud Aunt Daphne.
Daphne came into our lives last year when CowboyRod did a trade with me for Stanley. My intentions for her was to NOT make her into a giant pet like Delilah because, well, one 1,000 pound cow running all you because she loves you is enough.
She’s CLEARLY not a pet.
-The Crazy Cow Lady