Help! New Bottle Baby Needs a Name!

It’s that time of year again. Calving season. Inevitably we always end up with a bottle calf or two. It’s actually a good thing because if we have a calf die (it does happen, no matter what), we can give the Mama  cow a new baby, thus keeping that cow productive (that is her only job on the Ranch, to raise a healthy baby calf). If you want to know more about calf grafting please read this blog I wrote about it last year.

This is my new ward. What should I name her?

This is my new ward. The pink on her head is just chalk. It’s so we could identify her in the field.  What should I name her?

In this calf’s case, she was born a twin. Typically with commercial beef cattle, you tend not to let them raise twins. If we had a nice little dairy barn and a lot of extra time to play with the cow and twins, we might consider it, but in this case we like having a replacement calf. Because this heifer is a twin with a bull calf, there is about an 90% chance she will be a freemartin. A freemartin means she will never be able to conceive a calf – for more Ranch terms check out this blog. 

A bag of  colostrum. Even though she already had some, we wanted her to have a whisper more.

A bag of colostrum. Even though she already had some, we wanted her to have a whisper more.

This baby was born yesterday and did spend time with her Mama, meaning she got to suck some colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk expressed my the Mama cow, the milk is high in antibodies that will protect the calf.  Since she was still under 24 hours old when I got her, I decided to give her another little shot of it. We want healthy babies on this ranch! Healthy babies equal a healthy, happy herd!

We buy colostrum from local dairies.

We buy colostrum from local dairies.

I’m very careful to heat the colostrum on the oven, so I can make sure it doesn’t get too hot and pasteurize itself. Also I don’t want to burn the little baby!

Being oh so careful so I don't waste any  colostrum.

Being oh so careful so I don’t waste any colostrum.

Teaching a new baby how to bottle feed can be challenging.

Teaching a new baby how to bottle feed can be challenging.

Growing up here on the ranch, it was often my job to care for the bottle babies and the sick pen. I got really good at doctoring dehydrated calves and teaching the new ones to suck. It is one of my favorite jobs on the ranch because calves are stinking cute and I love to make things feel better. In fact, I got so good at bottle babies one of mine ended up getting reserve grand champion at our local fair, something “they” said couldn’t be done.

Notice my ranch appropriate clothing? Don't do this at home kids.

Notice my ranch appropriate clothing? Don’t do this at home kids.

Some tricks I use to get the calves to suck are I rub the roof of their mouths and "lick" them with my hand. I also make them get up and stand next to me. That usually does it.

Some tricks I use to get the calves to suck are I rub the roof of their mouths and “lick” them with my hand. I also make them get up and stand next to me. Also the dogs help, lol.

I have this new baby for a while, until my Dad needs a replacement. What should I name her? If you are a local and I select your name as her name, I’ll give you a pound of our grassfinished hamburger (it’s so good grilled for burgers!). What do you think???

10 Comments

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10 Responses to Help! New Bottle Baby Needs a Name!

  1. Hmm, given the date, I’ll go with Solstice 🙂

  2. Joline

    she looks like a Joline to me!!!

  3. Tracy Rice

    Debbie. She looks like a Debbie. Little Debbie. 🙂

  4. Matthew Brown

    She looks like a Joanie to me.

  5. Nick

    She looks like a Claire

  6. Annie. Like little orphan Annie. 🙂

  7. Donna Foster

    How about Wilma Grace?

  8. Dawn Cook

    I think she looks like an Amelia. Those great big eyes make me melt. I had 4 bottle babies at one time. Not fun at feeding time 🙂
    .

  9. Pingback: This Calf Needs A Name. #WordlessWednesday | The Adventures of Dairy Carrie... I think I Need a Drink!

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