Bite your lip and smile for the camera

He’s definitely a strange one. Born on the 2nd March 2006 11pm, he’s a half twin to a lovely heifer calf to a cow called Curious that I used to adore. I looked at him when he was born and my first thoughts were that he’s not going to make it. A tiny calf, half the size of his twin, he looked an albino, with very little hair colour, and there was a strange texture to his skin … kind of elastic skin… i can’t describe it properly because I’d never come across it before. And there was this funny thing with his mouth, he had no lip on one side.

He straightened up after a couple of minutes and all seemed just fine … except for the lip.after quarter of an hour I took some colostrum from mum, and attempted to five it to this lad.every time I put the nipple into his mouth, his tongue hung out the side, so if he got any milk, it was only a dribble. This continued every few hours through the night, and the following day too (helped thankfully by my mum and dad). (any farmer reading this would say to use a stomach tube and be done with it. I didn’t own one at that stage. I do now!

After about a week he started to drink on his own. That was some dose, but we got over it, and he started to grow, develop some colour, and you know he actually looked like he was going to make it … though the tongue still hung out the side of his mouth.

So here he is now pictured last April (he’s still the same now, only bigger and fatter). Healthy and carefree, happy to do bovine things all day long.

Another defect that I noticed as time has gone on is that the cartlidge in his ear doesn’t seem to be of very good quality.They usually have an ear tag on each ear. But the hole in his ear has stretched and it’s not very good any more for tags. I could make another hole, but I’m sure it would only have the same problem. I’m sure it’s affected to the lack of colour on his hair. Maybe he’s partly albino or something.

I used to love the mum ‘Curious’. She was always coming over smelling me, giving me big licks, gently horning me, looking for something nice, generally being a curious creature and sometimes being a nuisance too. Even when she was young and growing up, she was always the first one in the group over to me. In every group there’s always your favourites … and she was one of mine all the time. Alas only two weeks after having her twin calves (which she had no problem with), I found her one morning unable to rise. She had broken a hip during the night, probably in some shimmozle as she nudged her way through the crowd. We took her out, and gave her a dry bed, but she was dead by the afternoon. Either the shock got to her … or there was some major internal problem that wasn’t diagnosed. One way or the other, she was gone and I had lost a comrade.

But you know, he’s different from all the rest, and it’s a good thing because it’s interesting. Like us, if we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place.

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2 comments so far

  1. laurie on

    so does a deformity like this come from his face rubbing inside the womb?

  2. rough hands on

    To be honest, I don’t know how it happens. Maybe he had a fight with his big sister in-utero, and she bit it off with the close quarters and everything! … or maybe it just didn’t form properly for god only knows what reason.
    I wonder if he was partly deprived blood while in the womb and thus didn’t grow as large as his sibling.
    We will never know, but it’s just up to us to accept it as it is.


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