Tag Archive | orphans

Orphan 3 – Miracle

This little jewel is my 3rd orphan this year.  She is the second born twin and she might weigh in at 25 pounds!!

 

Baby Miracle 092015

Baby Miracle 092015

She is just so precious and had a really rough and amazing beginning into our world.  Her mother has had calves two seasons prior but never twins.  We knew she was having problems for over a week before Miracle was born.  She would go off to herself and was constantly twitching her tail.  As I’ve said before we try to let Mother Nature take its course and try not to interfere with the births of our cattle.  During the night on September 2nd, she was born after her twin and the long birth made her very weak and she did not have enough strength to get up to nurse.  When we found her the next morning we were positive that she would not make it.  Eddie took her huge brother to be disposed of and we left letting Mother Nature take it’s course.  Two hours over when I went to check on her I thought she was dead and let mom have time with her until Eddie could return to take her away also.  Four hours later we went to get her and Mom was off grazing, buzzards were settling in and I found her still alive but breathing hard.  I ran off the buzzards and carried her to some shade.  Mom had cleaned her up some but she was still not able to get up.   I came back to the house, mixed up some electrolytes (energy drink) and fed her a couple times the rest of the day with Mom hovering and not happy about it.  Still we didn’t expect her to make it but the next morning she was alive and Eddie thinks she may have nursed one time during the night but still so weak she couldn’t get up without help.  The next day Eddie had to be away from the farm and I ran vultures from her all day and Mom had decided to join the rest of the herd.  Anxious and knowing with a little help she would be okay so I loaded her up in the truck, brought her to the house, put bedding in the new “emergency calf barn” (that we never thought we would have to use) and bedded her down and gave her a pint of colostrum every three hours that day.  By the next day she was able to get up on her own but was still very weak.  This day I traded back forth between colostrum and electrolytes and by the end of the day I knew my prayers had been answered.

Baby Miracle four days old.

Baby Miracle four days old.

I kept her cleaned up and kept wiping her down with a light fly spray because the flies have been horrid on the cattle this summer and our neighboring farms are dealing with pinkeye and foot evil.  Miracle had been through enough without this drama!!

Well today is a big test!  We’re  reintroduced her to her real mom.  While out checking the cows yesterday, her mom was trying to take another cows new baby.  This morning we brought her to her real mom and placed them in a small barn lot together.  Mom wants her right off but Miracle can’t understand why that bottle looks so different! 😉  They’ve been together in a very small corral for about

If you look closely through the board fence you can see Miracle and her mom is standing directly over her.  I don't think she likes for me to be to close to HER baby!

If you look closely through the board fence you can see Miracle and her mom is standing directly over her. I don’t think she likes for me to be to close to HER baby!

five hours and we’re moving them into another larger corral now.  We’ll hold them together for at 48 hours and see how things go.  I’m more afraid that we may have waited too long and mom’s milk may have dried up.  So far, Miracle seems to be satisfied but 24 – 48 hours will tell the real story.  I’m keeping her crib ready just in case and praying Mother Nature will be kind.

Miracle in small enclosure and Mom near by.  Seems her belly is full!

Miracle in small enclosure and Mom near by. Seems her belly is full!

Her ears perk up when she here's her mom call.

Her ears perk up when she here’s her mom call.

This is  Miracle's mom and her breed is Gielbiev.  Miracle is her third birth.

This is Miracle’s mom and her breed is Gielbiev. Miracle is her third birth.  Miracle’s dad is pure Angus.

More updates to come in a couple days.  Prayers please!

 

Orphan 1 – Cindy

A few weeks back a friend of our came to the farm to cut some firewood. These trees are dead from the gypsy moth infestation we had about four or five years ago. Most all are hardwoods and beautiful oak timber at one time. Most are very large and we had hope to get some oak lumber from the stand. When this one big oak was sawed we hoped to get at least two or three 10 foot logs from them but when felled, we found out they were hollow. Eddie had gone out to help in the sawing to make sure the logs were cut to the lengths we needed but when it fell he found out it was hollow. While standing around talking Eddie heard familiar squealing which he knew was squirrels. On some investigation he found two baby gray squirrels in a busted up nest and mama squirrel had made her home but was now dead. Eddie put the babes in his hat and brought them home to the country girl to see what she could do for them.

Boy and girl squirrels

Boy and girl squirrels

For two days I fed and bathed these little darlings trying to keep them alive.  About two hours after the first two arrived Mr. Tucker showed up with a third one which was a lot smaller he found crawling on the ground where he was splitting the wood and stepped on her.  What a horrible trauma for three little orphans to endure.

Apparently the first two had some injuries that took their life within 36 hours.  The runt however is very alive and well.  We have named her Cindy and she is an absolute joy.

Cindy taking her bottle.

Cindy taking her bottle.

She is eating out of a babydoll bottle and her milk is evaporated milk.  She was  drinking about 1 tablespoon of lukewarm milk every four hours when we first adopted her.  She had full body hair and her eyes were open but I could tell she didn’t have full vision yet.  We’ve enjoyed so much watching her grow and the family has as well.

I started her living quarters in an old sewing basket with a couple soft, very thin wash cloths in it.

Baby Cindy's first house.

Baby Cindy’s first house.

In about a week we couldn’t keep her in it and had to make other arrangements.  I had a huge birdcage that I used when I several parakeets and it seemed the perfect home so I could keep track of this mischievous scamp.

Cindy in her new home.  We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn't want to be bothered.

Cindy in her new home. We found a hollow tree and cut it short, filled it with flannel pieces of cloth and this is where she hides when strangers come to visit or she just doesn’t want to be bothered.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

Her sewing basket is in the bottom section of the bird-cage and she hoards nuts and dried fruit in it.

She's always smelling my hands to make sure I haven't held someone else.  I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

She’s always smelling my hands to make sure I haven’t held someone else. I always wash my hands good with Dove soap before handling and this is the scent she knows is Mom!

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

Loves that bottle of warm milk.

She likes stretching out too when she's eating.

She likes stretching out too when she’s eating.

She climbs all over me.

She climbs all over me.

Her "lookout" pose!

Her “lookout” pose!

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating.  This is usually when I bathe her.

She likes being wrapped up in a wash cloth after eating. This is usually when I bathe her.

What's down there???

What’s down there???

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

She likes scampering around in the living room floor usually chasing after Sassy.

 

Prissy & George Update


DSCN6987 DSCN6986 DSCN6987 - Copy DSCN6984 - CopyThey’ve grown so much after such a rough entry into the world!

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We questioned whether Prissy would make it at all and then at three week she really came out of her self and then George got sick.  We noticed he was as playful and was having trouble getting up and walking.  We were told by the vet that lots of times when they are born and don’t get their mother’s colostrum in their system they will develop an infection that gets in their joints and can kill them.  Our vet, Dr. Wall, gave him a mega dose of an antibiotic and left us pills to dissolve in his milk for two weeks.  Here we are two months later and he is doing so much better.  Prissy outgrew him fast and is now about 75 pounds heavier and bossier than George but he’s coming on strong.  They’ve both tripled their birth weight, eating grain and grazing just like the other calves on the farm.  They still get a bottle every day instead of three bottles but that will come to an end when the bag of milk we have  is gone.  They love sweet feed and have started following our new cows and heifers around which is a great way to wean them.  I’m not looking forward to sending them to market in the fall but know it’s coming.  I’ll just make sure I’m not around when it happens.

Spring? ? ?

I know that spring is just around the corner because I found these in my yard yesterday.

Crocus

 

Crocus

Aren’t they beautiful??  Spring is coming in like a lion and I have two little orphans because of it.  George and Prissy were born on March 15th& 16th consecutively.  It’s was the worse days we’ve had all winter.  George’s mom decided he should be born and baptized at the same time so she had him in a wet weather spring in the middle of a blackberry patch in 0* weather.  He was so cold he could not get up to nurse and when Eddie found him Mom left to go eat.  Eddie packed him up in the tractor cab and carried him to our cellar.  Twenty four hours and lots of warm towels, heat lamp and propane heater, he was toddling around and taking a bottle.

George is curious and very pushy!!  Normal little bull.

George is curious and very pushy!! Normal little bull.

Prissy was delivered to the main house the next morning covered in ice and snow and barely alive.  I didn’t make it to work that day because of the snow and ice and I think Eddie was glad to have me there.  He found Prissy covered in four inches of ice and then snow.  Beside her, the mom was cleaning and trying to make her dead twin come back to life.  Eddie scraped off the snow and loaded her in the tractor and brought her to me.  I got out an old cutter quilt and he laid her by the woodstove. I grabbed old towels and blankets and started drying her off.  Sassy helped by licking her face.  I was certain she would die because her tongue was cold and she was so lifeless.  Sassy and I worked on her all morning, shifting her from side to side and warming another old quilt to lay over her.  We gave her about an ounce of warm milk every hour or so trying to get her warm on the inside and the outside.  Around 9:00 p.m. she started trying to get up on her own and by 10:00 she had taken three ounces so we decided to move her to the cellar with George.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Thankfully both calves are doing well.  George has been a little rough on Prissy and stepped on her the first night they were together and she limps from her left front leg but we’re hoping time and some loving care will fix that.  She’s a lot smaller than he is coming in at around 45-50 pounds and Eddie says George weighs over 75 pounds.

Here’s some more pics of them from the last two weeks and I’ll update their growth and shenanigans as time goes on.

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Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Curious calves.

Curious calves.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy's ears.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy’s ears.

Prissy is watching the chickens.  George usually chases them.

Prissy is watching the chickens. George usually chases them.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering "why?"

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering “why?”

Feeding time!!

Feeding time!!

It's not as easy as it looks when there's only one person feeding them.

It’s not as easy as it looks when there’s only one person feeding them.

George tries to take Prissy's bottle when he empty's his first!

George tries to take Prissy’s bottle when he empty’s his first!

Just to let you know how I feed them, we buy powdered calf milk that is medicated and high in protein and feed them two quarts every eight hours.  The powdered milk is mixed with water and the first couple of feedings they are given colostrum to get the immune system going that they couldn’t get from their natural mom.  At three to four weeks, we start introducing them to the small grains.

More to come!!!

 

Our little orphan, Annabelle

Two weeks ago today one of our older cows (25+ years) had been in labor for more than a day and finally on Saturday morning had a beautiful little red/white faced heifer.

Annabelle-one day old, tired, cold and just lost her mama.

Annabelle-one day old, tired, cold and just lost her mama.

Her Mom died shortly after delivery and we were lucky to find Annabelle because she wasn’t near her Mom.  We think Mom couldn’t get up to nurse her and the other cows came to investigate and Annabelle followed them looking for warm nourishment.  Hubby found her about 100 yards from her Mom, wet, muddy and very cold.  She was covered with the afterbirth film and mud.  Hubby came back to the house to get me and we loaded her on the back of the pickup and brought her to the house.  Luckily it was a very nice, sunny morning but still  cool.  I first got some regular milk we drink, warmed it and added about a 1/2 cup of Karo syrup and took it to her.

Calf bottle full, warm and sweetened.

Calf bottle full, warm and sweetened.

 

I didn’t have to work with her much at all to get her to take about a pint and then I let her rest.  I got a very warm bucket of warm with some baby shampoo mixed in it and proceeded to bathe her as best as I could and covered her with a heavy towel to keep the cool air off until she quit shivering.  She lay quietly in the yard and our other new baby, Gyp, decided to make Annabelle her new best friend.  She licked her and lay with her and nipped at her trying to get her to play.

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After another hour passed, she seemed a little more active and got up and walked around in the yard so I decided to try to get some more milk in her.  She was ready for that bottle and grab hold quick.  Gyp hung around to keep her mouth cleaned off (she’s so funny) and we got another pint in her.

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Then we prepared her a good warm bed in the small garage close to the house.  This building has electricity in it and made it convenient for those after dark feedings.  I filled a  clean five gallon buck with water for her and hoped she would find it and not knock it over and fill her bed with water which was a little below the bucket.  While I was preparing her new home, Gyp watched after her.

Gyp watching Annabelle in the yard while I prepared her bedding.

Gyp watching Annabelle in the yard while I prepared her bedding.

 

We fed her a full bottle in the mornings before I went to work and during the day Hubby would feed her 1/2 bottle every four hours and then I fed her again around 6:00 in the evening after I got home from work.  She is doing really well and growing so fast!

BUT. . . . . . . .

Another of the older cows gave birth to a dead calf on Wednesday morning and she is usually such a good mother.  Her calf was a red heifer and Hubby decided to try another trick we’ve used in the past.  He took the dead calf away from the mother and put Mama in a small barn near the house and gave her some extra grain.  While she was eating he took a large area of hide from the dead calf and tied it onto Annabelle’s back.

Annabelle with an extra coat & a little trick to find a new mom.

Annabelle with an extra coat & a little trick to find a new mom.

He then walked Annabelle over to the barn to meet a new mama (we hoped).  After some more grain, some more coaxing Annabelle to the new area of milk and lots of prayers, the new mama and orphan calf quickly took to each other.  Hubby urged me to stay away from Annabelle for a couple days to make sure the adoption would work and I can happily announce that Annabelle’s new mother is very protective of her and Annabelle seems to be nursing and nuzzling her new Mom constantly.

Annabelle's new mom

Annabelle’s new mom

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The only downside to this story is that Gyp doesn’t have someone to chase and play!  That’s another story in the making!

Orphans at the farm

I love babies of all kinds and have raised two kids of my own but I’ve also raised several orphan animals and thought I would share some pictures of them.  It’s very gratifying finding them quick enough to get some warm food in them, warm blankets around them and a good warm bath no matter if they’re furbearing or feathered.  Here’s some of my babes:

 

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

Heather & Shawn, my beautiful children.

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn't raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

My gorgeous granddaughter, Victoria. I didn’t raise her but had her with me every moment I could!!!

 

Sassy - our current baby!!

Sassy – our current baby!!

 

Sassy  & Dandy

Sassy & Dandy

 

Brandy

Brandy

 

Annie and the triplets

Annie and the triplets

Baby

Baby

 

Precious and Bambi

Precious and Bambi

 

Cuddles

Cuddles

 

Little Dan - now he's all grown up.

Little Dan – now he’s all grown up.

 

Baby chicks

Baby chicks

Half grown mallard babies

Half grown mallard babies

 

Baby Dude

Baby Dude

Fuzzy

Fuzzy

 

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

Baby Alex & Alexandra-dogs made them orphans

 

Buckwheat

Buckwheat

Garth

Garth

Roxy

Roxy

I can’t begin to tell you of all of the cats, dogs, fawns, squirrels, calves, rabbits, chicks and ducks I’ve hand raised but I can tell you everyone of them was worth the challenge!!