First calf of 2016.
The first Double M spring calf of 2016
....was actually born in 2015.
This little heifer calf was born over a month early, the week before Christmas. Clint found her one day when they were feeding the first calf heifers and brought her to the sale barn.
She was so little that he and Jack had to use a 12 cc syringe and an 18'' piece of medical tubing to give her colostrum, using our favorite colostrum supplement.
The next two days, she lived on a horse saddle pad in the heated sale barn bathroom, and drank from a 20 oz pop bottle with a sheep nipple on it. She probably weighed all of 35 or 40 pounds when she was born - she was so light that I could easily pick her up (being 9 months pregnant).
Clint or I continued to feed her a few times a day, and then on Christmas he was able to sort off and bring her mother in to a pen around the sale barn where they've been living ever since. We graduated her to a 32 oz water bottle with the same sheep nipple on it that day too, and since then her mother's come into enough milk that she only drinks about 16 oz of milk replacer each day before she is full.
She's a cute bugger, and hopefully we can keep her alive!
*Note - I hesitated writing this post in 2015, because I feel like every time I post about the first calf at the ranch, it dies. :(
I probably shouldn't feel bad, since the first calf out of a thousand + calves that are born here at the ranch each year is usually an anomaly but still....it makes you hesitate. But since this calf has lived for over two weeks now, I figured I was safe. Hopefully this post doesn't do her in!
Calving is supposed to start on around the 20th, but all of the heifers here were AI'ed at least once, so we expect the majority of them to calve 5-10 days early.
Which coincidentally is right when I'll be having our baby.....
So needless to say, life will be interesting here for awhile.