For the Love of Calf

What started as a normal birth this spring to favorite 9 year old cow, Elsie, on Cloud 9 Farm near Asheville, degraded through 2 days of rain and Elsie getting “Milk Fever.”

Her blood was depleted of calcium and magnesium through the delivery and she couldn’t even stand up to nurse her baby. With a vets help of a calcium IV, we were able to get her up on day 3, and get the hungry, bleating calf to nurse.

We put them both in a stall in the barn to readjust but Elsie never did bond with the calf. It was heart breaking to see her progressively kick the hungry calf away. It was then that we committed to feeding the calf “formula” 3 times a day.

Vacationers and neighbors generously pitched in and one named her “Maybelle” which is a happy, fun name that stuck. I mean, having a chance to save a calf, pet a calf, and have it adore you (at least while feeding) is the BEST experience.

We keep thinking that maybe something is wrong with the calf and that’s why Elsie neglected it, or maybe that Elsie is just trying to survive after that horrendous experience. Needless to say, “it takes a village” to get Maybelle through 3 months of feeding and Maybelle is healthy and strong at this writing.