Beauregard Playing Hide 'n Seek
Our heifer Betty had her first calf, a little bull, he's a Jersey, Red Angus and Pinzgauer cross with white socks and tail tip. These markings make him stand out from the other calves that are also cute but all solid reddish brown in color.
And everything's going great for the mother and son.
Well, they think everything's fine while we keep worrying that they've been separated, and that Beauregard needs rescuing!
For the first days of a new calf's life, they spend a lot of time sleeping understandably. To accommodate both this need and the mother's to replenish her post-birth energy and to make lots of milk for her baby, he finds a place to bed down while she grazes nearby.
In the course of grazing, Mom can move pretty far away looking for the best grasses.
Evolutionarily calves have developed the skill of sleeping very still and motionless so as not to attract unwanted attention.
They are so good at it that sometimes it seems to us as if there's a problem and the calf has gone missing.
Being fairly vulnerable human beings, we worry and feel the need to interfere to reunite mother and baby.
I can't help but wonder if they watch us thinking, "Oh, isn't that cute! Those silly humans think we don't know where my baby is and are going to rescue him again."
As evidenced in this video from the morning after Beauregard's birth, Betty and her calf know where each other is even when we think they don't!
But when Aidan moved the cows to a new pasture during a time when he resting hidden in the tall grass, the worry was that they would have trouble finding each other, and Betty might try to go through the fence to get to him.
A rescue mission was quickly planned, and we started the hunt for the new baby.
It took a while but we found him lying completely motionless. Check out the next photo of how we found him sprawled out, because of the heat, and looking very much NOT ALIVE! 😱
Just go ahead and try to tell me this calf doesn't look like it's met its demise!?!
I know this it's a natural behavior for calves to be great hide n' seek players, but still, I was certain this time, this calf had met its demise! And what started out as a simple farm task had turned into a tragedy.
Then Aidan reached down and scooped him up. He, seeming miraculously, came back to life to squirm and become hard to hold on to.
A short walk to the side by side and ride to the new pasture, and mother and baby were once again reunited.
They same scenario played out a couple days later only closer to the creek. The proximity to the water made us very nervous he'd fallen in and drowned. Aidan questioned his decision to put the herd that close to the moving water when there was a newborn.
This time Aidan spent a whole afternoon walking the pasture without finding Beauregard's hiding spot. He and Bill got up early the next morning to continue looking.
Fortunately, they found him pretty quickly this time.
Betty and Beauregard acted pretty nonplussed by our concern, while we felt relieved that this rescue mission was also successful, and they were once again together.
But . . . were they ever really separated?
Hmmmm . . . I have to wonder.