Ben the Calf

Hello, I am Ben, I was born on 27th February 2019 about 5.30pm at Greenhill Farm.

My cow mummy had a very hard time giving birth to me as I was the wrong way round in mummy’s tummy. After a long time my Farmer friends tied ropes around my feet and winched me out. I was born very big. My cow mummy took one look at me and walked away. My Farmer friends rubbed me in towels and made me warm. I didn’t know how to stand up because my mummy had not taught me how to and I also had very poorly legs from the ropes and being squashed up inside my cow mummy but could not tell anyone, I did not know that I had to have milk to live and did not know how to suckle from a bottle so I was starving. My Farmer friends made me a bed and tried to feed me from a bottle, because I was not very well I did not want to eat, so they pushed a tube down my throat a fed me into my stomach – I did not like this very much. My farmer friends tried and tried to feed me, I started to look for them because they patted me and stroked me and talked to me. I now think they are my human mummy’s.  I was still too poorly to eat so I had to have the tube pushed down my throat again. It did make me feel stronger but not strong enough to stand up. When I was 36 hours old my Farmer friend held my head and put the bottle in my mouth, because I could not get away I started to drink the milk – it tasted good. I got a lot of pats and cuddles so when they came again with the bottle I drank it again – more cuddles and pats. I felt very cold so my human mummy’s put me a lovely coat on. I had my legs massaged which I enjoyed but I liked my head and ears and cheeks being scratched and patted. My farmer friends and my human mummy’s tried to help me to stand up – but I couldn’t, my legs hurt too much. I tried to move, I really wanted to get up, I pulled myself forward by my front legs and because I had tried to move I got lots and lots of cuddles. I thought I wonder what will happen if I ever do stand up. I looked forward to my bottle now so every time they came to visit I drank all my milk, they seemed to come more and more so I drank more and more, then I got more and more cuddles. I knew my human mummy’s were worried about me because they told me, they told me that I needed to stand up and get better, they spent a long time massaging my legs. After 3 days I tried to get up but I was just not strong enough and fell over, I tried and tried again and again but kept falling over. My human mummy’s were so worried they called for the Vet to take a look at me – he made me stand up, he pulled my tail up so my back legs went straight – my mummy’s held my front legs – at last I was standing on my four legs – it felt so good, the vet said that I had nerve damage and that it would take a long time to get better, I heard him say that maybe I won’t get better, maybe I would never walk, this made me sad but it also made me want to walk even more. They lay me down as I was very tired, the vet gave me some injections to make me better and told my mummy’s to keep rubbing my legs – this made me happy, I didn’t feel lonely when my mummy’s are with me. They bought me a new coat to keep me warm. They brought me a bale of hay and lay me on it so my legs touched the floor, I tried and tried to move my legs but it made me very tired. I went to sleep thinking tomorrow I will be able to walk. My human mummies brought me milk in the morning when I was 6 days old, they lay me over the bale of hay and I could drink like a ‘normal baby cow’. While I was drinking my milk I was stretching my legs. I drank all my milk then pushed my legs to the floor, I thought if only this bale of hay wasn’t here I think I could walk. They moved the bale of hay and I dropped to the floor, I was not having that – I wanted to stand. I took a big breath and pushed and pushed and I got on my four feet, my legs wobbled and shook but I stood there trying to keep them still, I stood there for a long long time. It made me very tired so I lay down and had a sleep knowing I would try again later. When they visited me again I showed them how I could get up, on shaky legs I walked around, every step I took my legs seemed to get stronger – I even tried a little jump and a little run, this does make me very tired but I am going to keep trying. I will let you know very soon how I am getting on ----.