From Pipi’s Pasture: A calf with tag number 65 | CraigDailyPress.com
Diane Prather

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From Pipi’s Pasture: A calf with tag number 65

Written by Diane Prather

I remember when calf #65 was born. According to the calving record book it was April 9, 2016. I wasn't expecting my 20-year-old-plus cow, Ucky, to calve last year. I figured that she was too old. Wrong!

Anyway, when I went to the corral to do chores early that April morning, Ucky was proudly washing her brand-new baby boy, appearing not to pay any attention that he was trying to stand up. He was light brown in color with a white face, dark-colored ears, and a black nose. He was cute.

I remember what Lyle said when he came down to the corral. By then the calf had fallen into a rather deep feed pan. Lyle looked at him and said, "What are you doing in there?"

Then he patted Ucky and said, "Good job."

We don't usually give calves names, but Ucky's calf did get a yellow ear tag with 65 on it. As it turns out, "Nuisance" would have been a good name for him, but I didn't know it then.

I worried that Ucky might not have enough milk to feed #65 since she was an old cow, so I taught the calf to nurse on a bottle, and he nursed on his mom and got milk replacer, too. However, after awhile he refused the bottle, even though I packed one to the corral twice a day for quite awhile. As he got older, he nibbled a little grain when I fed Ucky, and he still eats some grain with her.

Ucky and her calf spent the summer at Pipi's Pasture where #65 thrived. By fall he wasn't a real big calf so I didn't sell him. However, he is well-finished for a calf, and he has lots of energy. That's why the name "Nuisance" would be appropriate at the present time.

Number 65 is in a corral with his mom, two other cows — one is another older cow named Sarah — and another steer calf. He might be eating hay, licking salt, rubbing on a pole or chewing his cud while enjoying the sun — whatever the case might be, when he sees me approaching the corral, there he is.

I can't get through the corral with hay or grain or anything else because he's right there in the way. He walks, even jumps, right behind me. Guess how unnerving that is! He chews on my clothes and nearly pulled my pants down a couple of times.

Number 65 chews on the hose when I try to fill the tanks in this corral. Perhaps even worse, he pulls the hose out of the tank. He stands in the shorter tanks and chews on ice. And I have to be sure that the chain is secured on the gate. Even though I have to squeeze through it right now because of the ice, if he finds an open spot, #65 has his head, even neck, though the space.

Sometimes #65 runs, jumps, kicks up his heels, and teases the other animals. He knows when enough is enough with Sarah, however. And his mom? She puts up with his attempts to get into butting-heads games with her for awhile. She has pretty much weaned him, too. Mostly, however, she enjoys licking her baby.

We have not had such a mischievous calf around for some time. He keeps life interesting on these cold, foggy, wintry days.