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Raising Moses

Updated on March 30, 2013

Moses Was Abandoned by His Mum

Early in January 2012 heifer 99 went into labour. She left the herd as cows do when they are ready to calf, and broke through the fence into the creek area. After giving birth to a boy she made her way back to the herd. Her calf got tangled in the fence she had broken through and she left him there alone. Two foxes, perhaps attracted by the smell of the afterbirth, came to investigate.

About 7: 30 am we got a call from a neighbour who had been taking her morning walk along the lane. She had seen two foxes stalking something where the creek entered the property and had gone through our front boundary to find a new-born calf tangled in the fence. She had freed him but said there were no cows anywhere in sight. Bob said he would go down and check things out and I went off to work.

Image credit: Moses in the garden (2 weeks old) by Bob Bevan

Some of the cows
Some of the cows

Bringing Moses Home

Bob found the calf and then brought the cows down - none of them claimed him. I had to leave work, go home and change and work out whose baby it was from the herd records. Heifer 99 had obviously calved recently and had developed an udder but refused to let the young calf feed. I went to help but by then the cows had headed back up into the hills again to get away from the heat of the creek flats. Bob had lost sight of the calf trying to chase his mother back and we spent over 2 hours in the sun of a hot Australian summer searching the long grass for him. I eventually found where he had tumbled down a steep bank and was lying hidden in the reeds at the bottom of the creek where there was still a little dampness in the ground. That was how he got his name. He was weak and dehydrated and we got him up the bank and sat him at the shade by the side of the ute and rang the vet.We took him back to his mother to giver her one last chance but she wanted nothing to do with him and we drove the 15 minutes to the vet.

Image: Some of the cows by Bob Bevan

Abandoned Calf Poll

If you had found Moses what would you have done

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A Calf in the Garden

Moses was given colustrum, the vital first milk, at the vets and was too weak even to stand. She gave me a calf teat that would fit on a coke bottle and told me to let her know how he went IF he survived, and home he came. We had a big wooden shipping box we set up in the back garden as his shelter. He was raised on milk powder, as much as would take bottle-fed 4 times or more a day.

Moses and Me

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