☆ July 5, 2016
Little Sid, kitchen calf, lap calf, my sweet little orphan, was a bottle baby the first month of his life, which made me “Mama.” He followed me anywhere and everywhere. If he was still hungry after draining the bottle I’d brought out to the pasture, he’d follow me back to the house, up the stairs of the deck (clip-clopping across the deck on his tiny hooves), in the front door and all the way to the kitchen, where he’d wait at my feet as I prepared another bottle. (It was such a bad habit, but so cute I couldn’t bring myself to break him of it.)
And then Daisy calved. Instead of milking into a bottle for Sid, I led Sid to Daisy’s udder, using the empty bottle as a lure and sticking one of her teats in his mouth. He caught on within two days, though Daisy was a less willing participant (as is normal – cows don’t like random calves stealing the milk that is meant for their baby). But Daisy has more than enough milk for all of us, and I knew she’d accept Sid eventually, as she has adopted orphans in the past. Exhibit A: Frisco and TR, way (WAY!) past the age of needing milk, but don’t they all look so content?
So, I helped Sid dine with Daisy a few times a day – while she was haltered after I’d milked her, while she was distracted as I brushed her, and, at times, using Maia’s super-effective blindfold technique. Meanwhile, Sid and Roxy became best pals – siblings, really. They are side by side every moment of the day. Sid learned to eat when Roxy ate, keeping Roxy closest to Daisy’s head, so when Daisy turned to look or sniff, she’d find Roxy and mellow out. And then one day I caught Daisy licking Sid, and answering his moos, which means she’s decided to be his mama, too.