We had something happen to us recently on the farm that was just hysterical. We had a mother cow on the farm with an infection in her utter. Milk production and milk quality drops when cows get this infection and the calf starves. We identified early on that there was a problem.
We took her to the vet and she was very upset about leaving her calf. The vet’s prognosis was that the cow not going to get better and the calf needed to be separated from the mama immediately so it could eat.
This mother cow has always been the first one at the trough, but during this time she would not leave the pasture to eat. Not only that, but she did not trust us to come anywhere near her or her calf.
When we went out to her to collect the calf, he was clinging to the mother’s side. She tried to run us over and ended up putting us back in the truck several times. We’re leaping and diving trying to grab this calf – it was actually very comical. When we were about to give up, I remembered I had a lasso in my truck.
I’m in the RTB and I’ve got the rope going and I throw the lasso and hit that calf right around the neck perfectly. Immediately when that rope hits the back of the calf’s neck, she jumped straight up. And when the calf did that, the rope fell behind her front feet and it’s sitting around her back feet. I pull on the lasso and get the calf pulled up by his back legs.
The mother was about 18 inches from my face and staring me down. She’s mad. I’m trying to figure out how to get the calf without getting out of the truck. We ended up transferring the rope to the truck bed and lifting the calf up from there.
That mother cow walked around the entire pasture for four days pacing and calling for her calf. She walked non-stop through the pasture calling day and night for her baby. It was very profound for me to watch that mama walk around the pasture for four days calling for her child. It was a great reminder that nothing can get in the way of the protective nature of a parent.