Saturday evening, as I was on my way out to feed the heifers, I noticed the new calf attempting to suck. She was unable to because her mother's teats were so large and swollen. On my way back from feeding the heifers, I looked at the situation a little more carefully. The calf was almost concave, but wasn't really lack-luster or anything. Still, after assessing the situation, I finished returning to the house, grabbed my cellphone (whenever I want it, I don't have it!), and called Daddy. We discussed my options--a) let the calf die--which would have happened if she couldn't eat, b) put the cow in the squeeze chute and work something out that way...force the calf onto the teat or milk her, or c) run into town and get some 'formula' and bottle raise the calf. I settled on the third option since I've bottle raised a couple of calves before and currently still have heifers in the pens.
I had to go to Tractor Supply since it was Saturday evening and the feed stores close early on Saturday. I strode in and headed for the back. I noticed a couple pairs of spurs leaving as I entered. It was my opinion that it was father and son...they had an awesome sounding old truck with a nice horse trailer on the back. (The truck was a desiel...) Anyway, enough about beautiful red pick-ups...
I got my calf milk replacer and new nipple since the old ones had been thrown out recently being nasty. The lady who checked me out is pretty nice and always greets people with a happy smile when they come in.
When I got home, I mixed up a quart of formula and Savannah and I hopped on the golf cart. Soon we were chasing the old cow and her calf around, through the rest of the herd, and all about. The baby kept up pretty good. I was driving and once the old girl got out of the herd, I kept between her and the rest of the herd. Finally, we got them up against the runway fence and Savannah took over the wheel and I half fell out of the cart, grabbing the calf as I did so. I whisked her up (fortunately she doesn't weigh too much yet!), ran around the back of the cart and slid into the seat, and almost immediately tried to get her to feed. I gave up on that before we reached the pens. When we did get back, it took just a few tries before she started sucking loudly. While feeding her, I looked into that pretty brown eye and said, "Charlotte." Savannah said, "I was thinking 'Flora'." I said firmly, "Charlotte." So, Charlotte she is. Sweet little thing too...when I rode today, I got out near the pens and she saw me and went, "Maawww..." When I feed her, I end up with wet clothes because she butts at me with her sticky nose! :D
Yesterday, we went out to eat after church with the S.'s--who are down from Virginia again. Well, the three of us managed to keep a big secret from Savannah, despite some mysterious phone calls and covert looks. We rather drug our time out at the table--not really overly extra--know us and the S.'s, but we were really trying to make it. Savannah went to the ladies room at one point and I started talking to the S's about the surprise and I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure she wasn't on her way back. I peered over my shoulder one last time and went, "And there he is!" DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I knew it was him by his hat even before I saw his face! Probably the way he walks has something to do with it too, but it's kind of funny that I knew "Daddy!!" by the hat first! :D
Anyway, when Savannah came out of the bathroom, she didn't see him immediately, but smiled at me as I grinned like a goof-ball at her and kind of shrugged like "What?". Then, she saw Daddy and her smile got bigger and her eyes just lit up and it was totally worth the sneakiness! (I'm horrid at keeping surprises like this to myself without smirking at all the wrong times--so I guess I did pretty good this time around.)
Today, I've poked around a little bit with Daddy...he got the new handle that I bought last July on the post hole diggers...I stood around and 'helped' a little bit--mainly by digging around in the appropriate cans for a new bolt and nuts. He and Granddaddy had been out messing around with the airplane some before that and I measured the 'old' and 'new' gates...the new one is 6 inches shorter, but Daddy says it ought to work. He came down on the golf cart while I was measuring the current gate because he wanted to know where something was...but anyway, we looked at trees on the way back up the driveway. I knew right where the thing he was looking for was as soon as I went into the barn, but I couldn't remember exactly standing at the end of the driveway. :)
Pretty soon it will be time to go feed critters. I'm sure Charlotte is starving again by now...she hasn't been fully content with the amount of milk I've given her yet. But I'm still waiting to see if she gets scours so I don't want to give her too much to start with. The heifers go and lick her nose off when I'm done feeding her...it's ridiculous!