The new calf is named Caramel. I named her for her beautiful caramel color.
This morning I went out and fed her a bit more colostrum by hand, then milked the cows. After I was done, I gave her a bit more colostrum. While I suspicioned that she might have already eaten on her own, I hadn't seen her suckle. The first 48 hours of a calf's life are very important, and she must get colostrum in order to get her own immune system going, now that she is without the protection of the womb.
When I was done cleaning up, I went back out for one more visit with Caramel. She was standing, wobbling slightly, by her mother's side and going for the udder. For once, Smarty Pants was standing still. I got a few flakes of hay to keep her occupied while Caramel groped around. Finally, contact! No doubt of it, Caramel knew what she was doing. I watched her for a few minutes, smiling the whole while.
Farming is a hard life. I get tired. Yesterday was a case in point. I needed my Sunday off, and I didn't get it due to Caramel's birth. After a long day, I brought in six quarts of milk and was skimming off the cream for my coffee and maybe some butter if I didn't use it all up for my cuppas. I was exhausted, and as I turned from the counter where I was skimming, my sleeve caught on the pint jar of cream and overturned it, down the front of the stove, onto my kitchen rug. I know, don't cry over spilt milk. But it's okay to cry over spilt CREAM, isn't it? I cried. It was just too much.
This morning, when I saw Caramel latch onto her mother, when I knew she was going to be okay, then I knew that it's all worth it.