My first fear of the day is the state of the half calf.
Will he be breathing, standing?
He is standing.
Will he, following some unfathomable bovine epiphany, have sucked from his mother?
He hasn’t; he won’t.
competing with his mother for nuts.
These are for grown animals, finishing-nuts, suckling-mother nuts – but here he is with his head stuck into her bucket. When she leans into it to reach the dark grains, she wedges his head inside so he has to wriggle loose. Somehow this behaviour is reassuring though he is very feeble –
not growing and fattening like his brothers and his little white sister who is too busy running and jumping to get fatter.
Last night I watched the Nog gallop across the hayfield:
and her galloping after – looking to play.
So I am more relaxed as I quad the bags down to the boys on the hardstanding, and then to Angus halfhorn and Alice in the aspen paddock below-
and she’s calved.
I had forgotten to anticipate this- it has been so long awaited.
And suddenly it’s here –
wet and already nuzzling her mother’s stomach- her instincts are true.
Yes, it’s a heifer- since Alice was bought in from Dingwall mart, I will be able to breed from her in three years.
No time to enjoy her now- I left the gates open on the way down.
for all that-
Welcome, little one.
The day is kind for beginnings.