The Little Twins

July 14, 2015

twinsOur little girls are doing well.  On the afternoon of their birth, they were tagged and given their first shots.  Our Friend the Farmer and his Smiley Grandson came down for my tutorial on ear tagging the livestock.  The first twin was ear tagged, then I was to tag the second.  I got her down and sat on her, but the only part I managed to do well, was the sitting on her part and no, I did not smash her.  I still have a bit more to learn about ear tagging the livestock.

With three calves in a womb made for one, it is no surprise that it was crowded!  The last calf born, Eliza Doolittle’s front hoofs were curled under a little.  This made it hard for her to get up and when she did, she was fairly unstable.  Our Friend the Farmer has seen this often and invented calf splints to add support for the newborn as their legs stretch out and uncurl.  The splints are made with PVC pipe.  We put an old rag between the splint and the front of the leg and then tape the whole lot up.  The stability this offered the little calf was incredible.Eliza legsOur corral became a sort of ‘recovery room’ for the next 48 hours.  Agnes was done in after delivering triplets.  The little ones needed help to get started nursing as Agnes’s teats were engorged and blocked.  Agnes is not a cow that likes to be handled, but her attitude while in the ‘recovery room’ seemed to be one of understanding, that we were there to help her and the twins.  We were especially worried about Eliza, who was more frail and had a harder time getting the hang of latching on.  How happy we were to see her noisily suck away! ElizaThe vet said, if everyone is up and nursing, move them back to the pasture and leave them alone.  Our ‘cattle drive’ was not organized chaos, it was just chaos.  Bob had broken through a fence in order to find his ‘herd’.  Agnes didn’t know where we wanted her to go.  The twins didn’t know anything about ‘going’ anywhere.  Most of the cattle got moved back to the pasture.  I picked up Eliza to carry her to the group and of course she peed on my arm.

The herd was clearly happy to be back in the pasture.  Under their willow trees, Agnes gave us a look that seemed to say, “Okay…thanks.  I got this now.”nursingEliza was doing so well, that after 48 hours in the splints, we were able to take them off!  She was prancing around so playfully, we thought she was Clara!  It did my heart good to see her so strong.

On their first full day in the pasture, the twins each found a place to lie down and ‘hide’.  This didn’t make it any easier for Agnes to keep track of and remember that there were two of them…  I was worried that they were not nursing and eventually I got them both up and headed in the right direction…toward Mama Agnes the milk machine.claraNow, I need to go out and check on my herd!  Oh, yes, I am blessed!

8 responses to “The Little Twins”

  1. Diane says:

    So fun to have babies around!

  2. John says:

    Nice fix! I just realized our herd (of cows) was always limited to one and the one always wore a halter which made it easier to move him/her between pastures. Of course, it would look strange if your herd all started sporting halters.

    • Ellen Walton says:

      There was talk about collars…but they actually like being a bit wild…so we’ll let them stay with that! It is amazing what one can do with a bit of PVC pipe!

      Thanks Dear John

  3. Miriam says:

    So glad Little Eliza’s legs recovered! I’m looking forward to regular updates on your herd!

    • Ellen Walton says:

      Thanks Mims!
      Clara is running around the pasture and there is nothing cuter than that! It will be double fun when the two of them start up with those delightful calf antics!

  4. Christa Peitzman says:

    Those girl calves are super cute!!! So pleased to hear both are doing well!

    Look at you tagging calves!!! You go girl!

    • Ellen Walton says:

      ‘Almost’ tagging calves! Mama instinct intake still for my little ones…getting them up where their Mama can see them and remind everyone where the milk is…still just days old…they are improving by leaps and bounds!

      Thanks friend!

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