Barnyard Orphan: Angus Calf Raised by Hand on Family Farm

One morning in the barnyard of her family farm, the author finds an orphan calf, and after looking for the mother, decides to raise it herself


| Good Old Days


This was the $64 question: Out of 64 cows, which one did the orphan calf belong to? If animals could only talk they could have solved the problem.

Last Monday I changed my clothes, locked the kitchen door and started walking toward the barnyard. I was walking slowly because I was meditating on the wise words of an old saying, "Never run. Walk, because as you walk along you'll solve many of your problems before you get there."

When I arrived at the pole barn I leaned against a wooden gate and gazed absentmindedly across the empty barnyard. Something was different; something was wrong. There, in the far corner inside the barnyard, lay a small black object. I climbed over the gate wondering, "What is going on here?" As I walked closer and closer I knew. Sure enough! Curled up into a snug little ball, sleeping in the fresh warm sunshine, lay a newborn black Angus calf.

I went on about my business of fixing the fence. I thought, "Its mother will come and pick it up later." It is quite common for a mother cow to hide her calf for two or three days before she takes it into a big herd.

After a couple of hours passed the calf got up and meandered wobbly to the fence. It stood there looking at me. After finishing my job I left. It was still standing there.

When I returned on the second morning it was still there. I worked around inside the barn. After a while she worked her way up closer to me. I began to wonder, "Where is the mother?" As the day wore on no mother appeared. By late afternoon I was getting concerned.





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