So, My Cowboy has to do the un-fun part of cowboying, and skin a calf that (in this case) has been dead for 2-3 days. This calf died during or shortly after birth. My Cowboy cuts the skin off with a skinning knife.
Meanwhile, I ooh and aah over the cuteness of baby cows. My Cowboy has tied this baby up by the legs, so that it can’t jump off the truck and hurt it’s little self.
My trusty sidekick is always standing ready to help… or just make me smile!
Despite being tied up – this calf managed to flop off the truck somehow, so My Cowboy had to slip a rope ’round it’s neck, and head it back to the barn.
….Ties it on with red twine – always available on any ranch. He makes slits through the hide on each corner, and slips the twine through the holes and under the chest and belly, tying it on securely. The idea is that if the cow smells her calf’s skin – she won’t know (or care) if it’s actually a different calf. Then the abandoned/orphaned calf can live in disguise as her own. And everyone will be happy.
Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t. Here is the mother of the dead calf, and here is My Cowboy – pushing the abandoned calf inside the calving pen.
She sniffs the calf warily…
Success!!! Within seconds, that hungry baby went for the dinner table, and she let him. Yay! I slipped out to leave them bond in peace… The hungry baby has a new mama, and the sad mama cow has (unwittingly) been comforted by what she thinks is her own sweet baby. And My Cowboy doesn’t have to bottle feed this calf. 🙂 Everyone is happy.