Thursday, February 26, 2015

Seeing Double?

Randy has been seeing double in the cattle pastures and corrals. But he just might need glasses. (It's usually me whose eyesight is sketchy.)

One day, he called the house and told me there was a set of twins in the heifer corrals. To help them bond, he fastened the gate and left the two babies to nurse with the mama while he went to check other locations.

I decided to go out and document the arrival of the first set of twins for 2015. But, when the calves quit nursing and turned toward me, I made a discovery. I called my Farmer.

"Ummmm ... Did one of the calves come ready-made with an ear tag? I teased him.

It seems little No. 507 was an interloper, eating an afternoon snack from a substitute mama. She obliged. Sometimes, mamas aren't so accommodating, especially heifers. 
But it's this little baby - her "blood" - that later got the loves and nuzzles.
We had another "twin sighting" in the pasture south of our house. Randy saw two calves with very similar facial markings hanging around a mama.
We sat in the pickup and watched the trio for awhile. And, on closer inspection, one calf was larger than the other. And the mama definitely preferred the smaller calf and head-butted the other one away when he tried to nurse.
This pair "matched up" and the other calf eventually found its way back to its real mother. 
I must agree with Randy: The calves had more "family resemblance" with one another than with the mama. (The photo below shows the interloper.) See? The two babies could definitely be siblings.
But, if you're about to lose confidence in Randy's cattleman status, we did have a true set of twins.
However, as sometimes happens with twins, the heifer mama claimed one and didn't want to have anything to do with the other.
The claimed calf got the No. 515 ear tag.
Little No. 516 was racing around, trying to scavenge milk from different mamas. So No. 516 went to live with a Corn Valley 4-Her. Katie will give it a good home and then use it for a 4-H project. (Unfortunately, I was at a meeting when Katie and her family came to pick up the calf, so there are no photos of the introduction.)

Katie got a good price on a baby calf, and Randy didn't have to mess with bottle feeding an orphan. It was a win-win.
And his cattleman reputation remains intact - despite some unwarranted twin sightings. Big foot sightings? Crop circles? Alien landings? Nope, here on the County Line, we have twin sightings.


  1. Oh bottle feeding can be a sticky business:) Oh I love your twins and your photos. Nice header. Hug B

    1. Thanks, B! Randy figured he'd give that pleasure to a 4-Her - ha! I'm ready to hear "the rest of the story" on your Lucky Lucky.

  2. Beautiful post and photos. I so love your storytelling!!

  3. It seems every cow has 3 calves...heifers are so "accommodating" with their friens's calves. We get that here to...
    I don't understand why cows ditch one twin and take the other. I'm bottle feeding a twin now. If I can't find a mama for her when we are done calving, she will go to a 4-h home.

  4. I always feel sorry for the "rejected" baby. But No. 516 will have a nice life with the 4-Her.

  5. Replies
    1. Randy is much better laughing at himself than I am. It's a good quality to have. He's gotten a lot of mileage out of the story with his farmer friends.