This morning when I did chores Buttercup was
restless and mooing, not her usual laid back self. When I checked her later there was a new calf bouncing around her trying to figure out how this whole nursing thing is supposed to work.
Buttercup’s style of parenting could best be described as “absentee landlady”. New calves are stashed somewhere out of sight, along a tree line or behind some bushes and mom comes to check on them regularly and feed them. Buttercup takes a different view, in her opinion if the baby is hungry he’ll show up in time for dinner. When the calf is older that works fine but when the baby is new and wobbly they stay hidden like fawns, they don’t wander around looking for a hot meal.
Our solution is to either shoo Buttercup to her baby and make sure they’ve eaten or walk the calf to Buttercup. It’s not too much hassle since we’re out in the field checking on cows yet to calve and make sure no one has fallen asleep curled up safe on one side of the fence and woke up on the other. Tiny as the new ones are this happens at least once a year.
We could hold her casual attitude against Buttercup but her calves are always our best looking and fast growing so some benign neglect doesn’t seem to hold them back.
I didn’t get too close this morning, I didn’t want to upset the new mom, I’m not sure if it’s possible with Buttercup but I erred on the side of caution. I’m pretty sure it’s a bull calf, any idea of names for the little guy?