Do you see this lovely old gate? That road behind it is my road to home.
Isn't this a sweet, sentimental picture?
Well, I must say, I was not feeling sentimental as I was wrestling with this gate. It had not been opened in approximately 27.4 years. Bookworm chose our route this morning. So, I HAD to open this gate. I couldn't appear a feeble city slicker in front of my daughter! On top of the nigh impossible to open gate, Appy gave me trouble! For some unknown reason, while I was struggling with this rickety looking gate that is surprisingly tight, and is alsowrapped in barbed wire, Appy decided he loved me. He loved me so much he had to keep rubbing his forehead against me while I was wrestling it. There I was in a tank top (of course) trying to open this gate without tearing my delicate skin, and the stupid horse was deciding to rub the flies off his forehead...On my back.
Dad has a baby calf he adopted. I'm pretty sure we're gonna be good friends. Dad brought him home because he wouldn't nurse his mama. Turns out he won't take a bottle either.
And, before we proceed, yes that is the tank top mentioned in the above picture. Yes, my pants are rolled up. With boots on. I had taken off my boots to walk in Mom's house and was too hot and lazy to roll my pant legs back down after lunch.
Last night, at about 10:30, I went to help Dad try to get him to eat again.
In the dark.
I employed my nursing skills and helped put a gastric tube down him to syringe feed him. I was stressed as I inserted it , because I wasn't sure of the appropriate head position to avoid his trachea. However, as it was dark, I decided since he wasn't coughing, that must be a good sign. We fed him the entire half bottle of milk using a thin tube we found in the barn, cut to fit his small anatomy (again, I wasn't at all sure how far his stomach actually was down his little body) and a 6p ml syringe to feed him. We used the same tactic this morning. The little fella's only five days old, but has only had maybe three good feedings.
Isn't he just too pitiful to look at?
Today I decided to try a bucket. I knew he'd been drinking water because he was urinating and his nose was wet and his eyes are bright. He's just weak and skinny as a rail. He sniffed the bucket, but wouldn't drink.
By the way, I must pause in this story to share a direct quote from Studmuffin to Herman: Don't worry little fella this is the most traumatic thing you will have to go through until somebody decides to cut your nuts off!
Yep. We are one classy family.
We not return to our saga:
I decided to use my nurses hat again, and tried syringe feeding him. I would fill a two ounce syringe with calf milk, then use my thumb to get his mouth open and slowly squirt it in, making sure he was swallowing the milk...I would hate to give the little fella pneumonia!
I also decided to name him Herman. If I'm going to invest this much energy in a cute little black calf, he simply MUST have a name!
Don't tell Dad, but I think I'm in love. I have an unsettling suspicion that my Dad will not have time to spend 30 minutes slowly syringe feeding the little guy. I asked Studmuffin if we could take him home and keep him in our yard. He avoided answering the question, but I think if I shake my money makers at him, he might come around....
And, no I don't want to hear any logistics about lack of a stock trailer to take him to the vet if he gets sick(er) or what we will do with him if he doesn't make it...Voices of reason are completely unwelcome in this scenario.