Yesterday, one of our cows had a stillborn. She paced and hovered, anxious, over the dead body of her calf, not understanding that she would not be a mother.
Grafting is a delicate process. You have to be sure the mother cow can’t see her own calf during the process, so that when you present the “adoptee,” who happens to smell just like her own baby, she thinks it is her own. Yesterday, we haltered Buster and that’s what we did. When we put him in the pen with mama, she smelled him over and seemed to take an interest in him, but for good measure, we hobbled her so she couldn’t run away from him while he tried to nurse.
The next few days will tell whether she accepts him as her own, or whether I will have a bottle calf yet.