Oh heck. The time and emotional investment in these little reindeer calves is huge.
The two hand reared calves are now approaching 3 and 4 weeks of age and had death scares with both of them. This morning the little girl Bailey appeared to be convulsing and couldn’t stand up. Got her in a stand position and massaged down her spine and 5 minutes later running around and finishing her milk. vaccinated the boy Ryder and he didn’t take to the injection so had to spend hours sorting him out.
Every day of life is a step further to survival but their chances of staying alive are at best 50/50%.
They are not born with a great immune system, first time mums can be very neglectful and all mums will only care for their calf if they believe it is fit and viable enough to stay with the herd. A tough world to come into.
To add to this long list if a calf lies on its side for more than 15 minutes it can die due to pressure of the lungs on the diaphragm.
I am not sure if I can face another season!
Then you walk into their pens and their honking accompanies your final steps, they run up to you nuzzling your face and searching for the milk teat and all you can think is aah I would do anything to keep you alive.