Got a call several days ago, about a calf. I am a sucker for a trouble case. It was a freebie and it will be delivered..oh ...oh...I thought. Now, I have wised up a bit in the last several years on those freebies and wondered, Do I have the time right now??? I hesitated and hesitated just a little too long. Baby was on it's way. I took one look and thought...man that is one "hard luck case". Not only were it's feet deformed, it was not eating. Now that is going to take some work. I was pretty uncommitted the first evening, thinking that getting attached was going to be a heartbreaker. But by morning, I dived in and worked like crazy trying all the tricks to get it to suck. By day 3, I maybe, had managed to dribble about half a gallon of milk into him. He would suck once,,then let it drizzle down his throat. No will to live! Calves like that are pretty hard to convince. I doubt that he had ever nursed at all and it was a day old when I got him. He was fastly loosing his strength and will. On day 4, I got up and decided it was time to tube feed him. So tubed a bottle of pure goat milk down him in the morning. That late afternoon after work, I walked in with a half a bottle to try one more time and see if he would ever learn to eat! I put the head lock on him while straddling him and forced the bottle one more time. It happened..he took off with a few slow slurps then it kicked in. Pure aggressiveness and not coming up for air. He inhaled the first half a bottle like a pro and I quickly ran to the house to fix another half bottle of milk. I was back in a flash and he clamped on and was drinking madly, with me of course still having him in a head lock to make sure he stayed on task, when, it happened...he gave me one of those head butts that says, make it come faster...I WANT IT FASTER!!! It was my own fault, I took it in the chin, and tasted blood. I have knocked my teeth into my lip before, but not quite that hard that I saw stars. I could feel it swelling while he drained the last of the bottle. It hurt so bad I didn't have a thought to even swear..now that smarted.
Now it has been a couple of days and he is eating like a normal calf with plenty of energy. So had scheduled a Vet trip, and took him in to see if they can pull the front hooves straight. Now , my vet is also a very close neighbor and knows me very well..and only smiled when I took in baby with a bottle marked for the next feeding and temperature of milk he likes. (I only added the temperature for the "over the top" effect.) He laughs but truly enjoys my efforts in caring for my critters and took a look to say, Hey now, I think that is pretty fixable, not bad at all he tells me....Well...I am pretty anxious to see the "After" results. I will post those photos tomorrow...with his orthopedic shoes..