Why Lucky is called Lucky
August had been full of weird events, and September started out much the same way.
Many years we have no twin calves being born at all, sometimes one or two sets during a calving season.
This year we already had 6 sets being born and Lucky was one of set number 7. Twin calves have their own set of problems, often one or both don’t stay alive because of various reasons. Lucky and his sister were one set of twins that were healthy.
The husband had been up early that day to cut canola and when he returned noticed the twin calves and the mother standing by them calling to the little calves. Mother had given birth on the pond bank, usually a good spot for cows to give birth as it is protected from the elements.
Little new-born calves are so cute to watch when they try to get on their feet. It often takes a try or two until they are standing and then another few tries until they are able to walk and find momma.
When Lucky and his sister tried to stand and walk, they must have slit down the pond bank because this is where the husband found them: stuck in the mud. With the help of a rope we were able to pull both little critters to safety. Mother did not waste any time to encourage her offspring to get going and the little girl got up shortly and was able to follow momma.
Lucky was a bit slower so we decided to give it some special milk to help it out. After all they had gone through quite an ordeal already being born. Then getting stuck in the mud and also being pulled out of the mud. All within minutes of being born!
Lucky was able to catch up with his sister and momma and we kept an eye on them during the day to make sure they were doing well. All was well until the evening. The husband had gone to bed early because he wanted to get up at 5 to cut more canola.
Then around 10 at night, I was just going to bed as well, when we heard someone calling at the door. One of the neighbors called in telling my daughter and me that he had seen one of our calves on the road. We went with our neighbor to where he had seen the calve. Lucky enough I heard a calf cry and when I shinned my flashlight around, the light caught his eye and so I was able to find it.
A lost calf
Our neighbor was supper helpful and we were able to lift the calf in the back of his truck. This way we were able to get it back to the yard and its momma. We then discovered it was the boy from the twins being born that day, still covered with dried mud.
We brought Lucky to the cow yard and put him at the fence thinking it had gotten lost and now would be able to go find its momma. At that time all the cows had come in to the yard to settle for the night. It was then that I discovered my hand was covered in blood!
The neighbor said he had blood on him as well. It was too dark to see where it was coming from, so I decided we should put the calf somewhere safe. Because coyotes would be able to smell it and come after the calf. We thanked the neighbor for his help. And my daughter and I put the little calf on a wagon and drove it to the shop. This was the only place I could think of where we could keep it clean and safe.
In the makeshift barn
Our barn had been in disrepair and torn down. The cow shed was not a place I would be able to get to in the dark. So I made a makeshift pen in the shop with pallets, cardboard and pieces of plywood I was able to find there. The daughter got a nice fresh bale of straw and we settled Lucky in. When I checked Lucky over I noticed he had been bit in the face and in the rear, his tail was missing also.
I quickly made another bottle of milk, but he did not want to drink much with his face being too sore. We made sure that all the doors were secure and because there was not much else we could do at that moment we went to bed.
I did not sleep very well, and I had left a note for the husband to call me when he got up. This way I could tell him what had happened when he was sleeping. He was quite upset that coyotes had been after Lucky, but grateful the neighbor had spotted him and had let us know.
Later in the morning I went and gave Lucky his milk, which he gladly drank, being hungry by now. His poor face was getting swollen, but the bleeding at the rear had stopped and he seemed full of energy. I talked to the vet and got some Penicillin to give Lucky to help prevent infections.
We figured the coyotes must have gotten too Lucky in the pasture, but lucky enough he was able to get away from them. And that is how he came to wander on the road when the neighbor spotted him. If we had not found Lucky, the coyotes would surely have gotten to him.
We kept Lucky in the shop for two weeks, giving him milk twice a day and a course of Penicillin. Then we moved him to a special pen in the cow shed. This way we were able to keep an eye on him and feed him. I had to repeat the antibiotics once more to help heal Lucky’s rear.
By now he is growing, making friends with the dogs and the cat and doing very well!
Update: I am sorry to say that Lucky dies from pneumonia we were not able to get under control.