1.Call her name and she’ll very quickly learn it and come running. Often kicking up her heels as she does.
2. Never feed calves whilest wearing thongs. Don’t be fooled by those pretty twinkle toes! Wear strong boots, preferably steel capped.
3. Never point the back end of the feeding bottle towards your body, especially not towards vulnerable parts of your anatomy. The dear little calf is likely to head butt the bottle very hard, just as she would head butt her mum’s udder to encourage milk flow. You don’t want to experience that.
4. Consider feeding calves from the other side of a fence. Especially recommended if feeding two calves. The bottles don’t hold a full 2.5 litres feed, so topping up the bottle is made difficult if surrounded by impatient calves wanting more.
5. Take advantage of this special time to stroke and caress the calf. Scratching the top of his head is good, but here’s nothing lovelier than tickling his tummy. Much harder to do when feeding two calves at once.
6. Don’t worry about getting covered in milky saliva. It’s the price of calf love. What’s a bit of sticky stuff between friends.
7. It’s a big committment, morning and night for at least six months, so the big trick is to enjoy it. It seems like forever at the start but they grow up so fast…
Gideon and Eunice, born last December, lost their mums at Christmas time. These photographs were taken in January. They are very big calves now.