Thursday, August 25, 2016

First Evening And Day Two - Welcome, Tabitha!

I double checked and made sure the calf was a heifer. Then I named her Tabitha, using the same name as the calf who died a couple months earlier. I got lots of time to observe Rosella and Tabitha interact. Like her own mother, Rosella leaves her baby sleeping in the tall grass and then, later, goes looking for her to provide another feeding. She has a "mommy voice," a soft, low pitched series of short sounds when she is calling to or talking to her calf. Once the calf is found, Rosella lets roar a couple of loud bellows. I'm not sure what the purpose of that is, but it doesn't seem to be defiant or a warning to stay away:

Early the next morning, while the rising sun was casting a rosy glow over everything, I found Rosella and Tabitha right near the barn:

Rosella didn't want much grain, but I got her to eat a little by carrying a bowl out to her because she wouldn't enter the barn. After she'd had her fill, she walked out into the field and I followed:

I'd feared that something was amiss with Rosella's udder, but I soon realized I'd been wrong. It was symmetrical and well attached. The teats, which started out small, began to get bigger each day:

And Tabitha continued to be playful and curious:

Rosella was being a wonderful mom, with behaviors much like her own mother:

Still in the rosy light of dawn, I continued to snap photos. Tabitha was getting annoyed with me:

And went over to join her mother:

Gracie gave the new calf a sniffing, deciding she was OK. I watched when Tabitha tried to nurse off Gracie. That was not allowed (she isn't lactating) and she gave the little one a carefully placed, ever-so-gentle kick to move her along:

Are you still taking pictures of me?

Everything seemed to be going perfectly and no, that's not a setup for a problem. Things still seem to be going perfectly:

Rosella has proved to be a great mother and beautiful cow. The first calf born on my farm, Rosella now has a baby of her own: