I heard a lot of bellowing coming from down in our woods this evening. That often indicates a cow jumped a fence or something is otherwise amiss. I decided to investigate.
Sadly, I saw this:
One of our heifers gave birth some time today and the calf died. He -- for it was a little bull calf -- was already cold and stiff when we found him. We have no idea why he didn't make it. He didn't have any obvious birth defects and there were no indications of trauma.
This is Shadow, the mother. She's young, and this is her first calf. Could there have been birthing difficulties? Could she have rejected him? We weren't home this afternoon, so we simply don't know. At any rate, Shadow is understandably distressed.
You know, we've raised cattle since 1999, and this is the first calf we've ever lost. The first.
Don and I double-bagged the poor baby and put him in the back of the truck. We'll take him to the dump tomorrow. We can't leave him out in the woods since there's too much of a chance a carnivore may be attracted.