☆ March 14, 2013
At around noon on Tuesday, I glanced out my window and saw Fiona obsessively licking and mooing over a calf. There’s this very distinct “mommy moo” that cows only do with newborn calves, and Fiona was making this sound – it’s almost like a murmur. But even through my window, I could see the calf wasn’t hers – it was fluffier and “fuller” than a newborn calf would be. And Fiona’s tail was cocked and held at an angle away from her body, which is the tell-tale (tell-tail?) sign of imminent birth.
The calf that Fiona was doting on actually belonged to Sis, Fiona’s BFF, who had calved a week prior. So what was up with Fiona’s behavior? Sometimes, a cow will “psychologically calve” right before they physically calve. Fiona was so close, she felt compelled to start mothering, even though she hadn’t had her baby yet.
Sis was calm and patient with Fiona, while remaining ever-present and protective of her calf. And then, about half an hour later, Fiona wandered away from the pair, lay down, and had her baby.
Moments after the birth. Now Fiona had a calf of her own to lick and lick and lick, which is an important and essential task: all this licking cleans and dries the calf’s fur, so the calf will be fluffy and warm.
The calf was perky and alert as Fiona continued her work. Within ten minutes, he wobbled to his feet…
…and had a drink!