Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Twins Graduate

Its been 5 long weeks of bottle feeding & burping these two very bouncy babies. They have learned the routine of coming up to the gate of the field when they are called, run to the back door of the feeding area and suck their 2-3 quarts at each feeding, to the end. This week they refused their bottles. They didn't need or want them anymore. I felt a little sad and a little joyous at the same time. Like the mom who takes their child to kindergarten class for the first time, it was a mixed blessing. These twin babes are growing and eating more and more grass and hay. Their mom is eating new grass and producing more milk, evidently more milk than last week and enough to fill the twins up. The task of going to fetch 2 gallons of hot water every morning to mix their milk bottles would be over. I would actually have time to do other things~!! I would no longer be on "Twin Time! " With all those wonderful thoughts in my mind, I knew it was time to build a creep feeder that ONLY the twins could have access to and not the other cows in their field.
With a ten foot board, a saw and 4 nails I put an extruder board on the front of a horse stall at calf level. I filled their red water bucket up and hung it with adjustable chains so I can adjust the height of the water as they grow. I put some high quality hay in the corner and a scoop of grain in their feed bowl. Then I called them up out of their field and they came right into the stall and started exploring their new exclusive "room" and eating the grain and slurping the water out of their bucket. For 30 minutes they ate and walked around their roomy digs. Whisper went right to the grain and started nibbling and Widget started eating the hay. Their mom came with them and layed down in front of the stall to supervise her two precious daughters.
My days of caring for these special girls are not over, we have just graduated to another level of care. With this custom creep feeder they will always have access to grain, water and hay. Just a little extra food and shelter to help them grow as well as the other calves in their group. And NO, I am not putting satellite TV in their stall~!

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