|My wife, Terry, had gone shopping so my 12 yr. old daughter, Danielle, and I were on our own. We headed into town for a milkshake and quality Daddy/Daughter time. On the way, we saw a truck with a 5th wheel horse trailer, stopped at the local gas station. The owners were mixing milk substitute in buckets and I couldn't stop from asking if they needed any help.|
It turns out they had bought forty new born holstine male claves that morning at auction and the feed store had given them the wrong product for milk substitute. They asked if there was a feed store near and I said I would take them because you'd have to be lost to find it.
We got back and helped them mix the rest of what they needed for this feeding and pour it into the 1/2 gallon 'baby bottles.' Next thing I knew, both Danielle and I were in the trailer and feeding newborn claves their first meal after birth.
Some were very healthy and had NO trouble sucking down dinner. Others were weak and needed encouragement. The trouble was, once these critters got a taste of milk, they had lots of energy and wanted more. We had to fend off the fed calves and work with the hungry ones. This became increasingly difficult as healthy, slobbering (and defficating) claves tried to suck anything they could get their mouths on. Elbows got it good and my chin, once or twice.
By the time we got the last one fed, Danielle and I were covered with slobber, milk and worse. The 'worse' smelled bad.
The owners couldn't believe we had helped them with that awfull task but we all had fun and I'll never forget it. Some weeks later we got a note of thanks in the mail telling us that all 40 calves survived the trip. They were headed to North Dakota and they raised these calves to put their kids through school.
Danielle and I never did get that milkshake. Somehow, I think we both got something better. I know we'll never forget the memory.
Tyler Woods, from WA, entered 2000-05-11