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This is Daisy and the orphaned calf (refresh your memory here if need be).  When I first put them together, Daisy barred her udder from the calf, as she had never had a calf on her before (at the dairy where Daisy used to live {and I am sure this is the case with all commercial dairies}, they separate cows and their calves immediately, and while the calves are fed their mother’s milk via bottle, it’s in essence business as usual for the cows.)  So, ’twas not surprising that Daisy shooed the calf away whenever he attempted to suckle.  I milked Daisy twice a day and fed the calf her milk with a bottle.

One day, a week and a half or so into it, I spotted the calf tentatively sucking Daisy!  He had been persistent enough in his attempts, and Daisy curious and calm enough in her nature, to allow this great step to occur.  And now there is no tentativeness about it.  He ambles up and reaches out his long curving tongue, which is practically like a finger, and draws her teat into his mouth and absolutely gobbles.  {For those of you who’ve never had an up-close view of a calf drinking off a cow, it’s really quite awesome – in the pic above, you can see the calf’s tongue reaching up and curling around the teat (his tongue is purple on the top and pink on the underside; the pink going into his mouth is the underside of his tongue, not the teat) creating a sort of seal up against the udder.  And they drink so heartily and singlemindedly that frothy milk-slobber is a given.}  Daisy stands patiently with (and I may be anthropomorphising here) a look of serene fulfillment as the calf drinks from both front teats.  That’s the deal the calf and I have:  he gets the front two teats, and I get the back two.  I milk the back teats morning and evening and leave the front ones for him; he drinks from the front teats throughout the day and leaves the back ones for me.  It works fantastically.

Daisy is like a really, really, really big dog.  She follows me around without a halter, loves to be pet and scratched, walks through the corrals and straight to the milking stall without fail, and lets me use her as a sofa. {It is such a decadent yet simple pleasure to lay against Daisy, reading a book, while she herself is laying in the sun chewing her cud.  The only slightly negative aspect is (and I think you all should adopt this term the next time you want to call someone a nasty name): Cud Breath.  It’s less than pleasant.}

The calf is gargantuan.  I think he’s quadrupled in size in the past two or three weeks.  He’s still a bull calf (as opposed to a steer calf, which is a male calf that has been castrated), and he’s really probably very most likely going to grow up to be a bull.  One reader emailed me with the advice, “Don’t name food,” but I don’t follow directions all that well and this calf has seven names.

And that’s the latest with these two. 
(Think I used enough parenthesis in this post?)

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