Doubtless you've all been waiting with breathless anticipation to learn what we named our new surprise calf. So... meet Ninja.
Of all the wonderful name suggestions you folks supplied, we wanted to wait and see what "fit" this little guy, and somehow Ninja worked. After all, he's black and snuck up on us... right?
Ninja spent the first week in the barn with his mama Shadow. This offered maximum shelter for Ninja and unlimited food for Shadow.
Little Lucy came over to meet the newest herdmate.
But Shadow, still in the hormonally-protective stage, intervened and distracted Ninja away.
Poor Lucy. "Wait, come back! All I want to do is play!"
Now admit it, doesn't he look like a little baby Ninja?
A week went by, and while Ninja didn't know the difference, Shadow was getting cabin fever from being cooped up. Plus the barn was starting to get messy.
But we had to wait until the little guy was old enough to castrate (i.e. testicles descended), and we did that dirty deed yesterday. (For those interested in the technical details, see this post.)
Then we could remove the cattle panels blocking the animals in the barn, close the driveway gate, and let Shadow and Ninja have the run of the yard area. (It's still too muddy to let them down in the woods or feedlot.)
Although he'd spent his first week making little dashes around the inside of the barn, this was Ninja's first opportunity to really stretch his legs, and he galloped here, there, and everywhere... with poor Shadow racing after him, mooing in concern, milk-swollen udder flopping from side to side.
He also spent a lot of time meeting various herdmates through various fences.
Amy was particularly anxious to make Ninja's acquaintance.
(It's moments like these I always try to keep the camera in my pocket.)
Every once in awhile, Ninja stops to fuel up.
Shadow is proving to be an excellent mama, calm and attentive.
And I must say, it's nice to have a baby around the place again.