Maria And Jon, The Calves

Ed feeding the calf Maria
Ed feeding  Maria the calf

Carol Gulley texted me on my birthday and told me they had a calf born on the farm that morning and named her after me.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled.  I texted and emails photos of her to everyone I knew.

Today we went to the Gulley’s Bejosh Farm to see her and her twin brother.  Ed Gulley, who is an artist and storyteller (Ed showed his Found Art Sculpture at the last Bedlam Farm Open House)  as well as a farmer told us they named her twin after Jon.

Now it seems we’ll be taking both Maria and Jon (the calves) to our farm for the summer.  They’ll go back to Bejosh Farm in the fall to do what cows do.

Maria is a pretty  little reddish, brown girl.  When I squatted down next to her she got close to me and twitched her nose. Carol told me she was taking it all in, getting a sense of me.  Today when I saw her for the second time  I held out my hands to her and she slobbered all over them.  I think she ready to eat.  Then Ed came out with the bottle and fed her.

Jon, Jon the Calf and Ed
Jon, Jon the Calf and Ed

We saw Jon the calf for the first time today.  Jon looks more like his father, a Swiss Steer and Maria more like her mother.  (Ed told me what kind of cow she is, but I’ll have to ask him again.  I was too caught up in the moment to remember) Jon is bigger, with thick legs and a boisterous personality.

I don’t think twice about bringing the females to the farm, but I’m always a bit weary of the males.  I don’t mean to be sexist, but I have noticed they tend to cause more trouble.

I haven’t spent a lot of time around cows, so I’m looking forward to getting to know the calves.   And  I don’t have to worry about having to part with them in the fall.  I know they’ll be going back to  a good place with Carol and Ed.


13 thoughts on “Maria And Jon, The Calves

  1. Somewhere in New Zealand there was once a lamb named Erika after me.

    Uh oh: naming calves . When we lived in Huntsville, TX, our next door neighbors bought two calves every year to raise for freezer meats. One year their children named them–Albert and Victoria. When the time came they had to be sold on; eating them was an impossibility. Their 4 children unraveled completely and their mother told me privately that she felt the same. They skipped a year in calf-raising and then went back to the usual no-name habit.

    1. That’s why we don’t name our hens anymore Erika, not that we eat them, but that they don’t seem to live too long. Maria the female calf will stay at the Bejosh farm for milk. Jon, the male calf is set to go to their daughters farm. Not sure what his destiny will be. And it’s been a long time since I had a male cat, but I can just imagine…

  2. P.S. We have female cats–just happened, and 1 male. Never had females before and while predominantly they are “all cat” they are so different on top of this that it is startling. Also I feel an affinity with the one who arrived pregnant on our doorstep and we have kept one of her kittens and is he male!

  3. Yes I do. I love the look of calves faces. It’s old like most of my others, it’s black ink only. I’ll show you!

  4. Dear Maria, We named our calf steers Lunch and Dinner, because the children were busy teens who did NOT WANT to have time for the farm, we ate well for two years with no tears!

  5. I know this will not be a popular comment, but I feel moved to write it. Why are the calves being bottle fed,
    rather than being fed by their mother and bonding with her? I’m afraid I know the answer: so “we” can have the milk. I eat dairy products, so I’m not judging anyone. I think about this a lot and know that the mother cows, like all mothers in the animal world have natural instincts to take care of their young. I hope someday to have the strength of my convictions and give up dairy. Also, most cows in the dairy industry are not treated lovingly like the Gulley cows.

    1. That’s just it Becky. And actually most of the mother cows don’t even take care of the calves when they’re first born anymore. There are “Mother Cow’s” that the farmers put in with the cows that are ready to give birth. If the cow is one who doesn’t take care of the calf, the “Mother Cow” will take over and clean the calf. If find it sad too, but it’s the reality of it. The calves all grow up together and it’s true that Carol and Ed Gulley love their animals and give them the best care.

  6. That’s interesting – that most of the mother cows don’t take care of their calves. Could it be because they understand (in their own way) that they will be taken away from them as they have in the past? Animals are so much smarter than we give them credit for. I read the “Farm Sanctuary” website, and the bonds that cows, sheep, pigs, etc. make with each other and with people are very complex. I am an animal lover as you and Jon are and I think we are going to realize more and more, as we become more advanced intellectually and emotionally, that we are one with the animal kingdom and we don’t rule over them.

    1. It’s an interesting idea Becky, that what comes out of our keeping animals is something that we wouldn’t necessarily expect. I was thinking the cows not taking care of the calves was more evolutionary. But you’re idea that they learn and trust the farmer because of their connection makes sense too. I’m going to ask CArol and Ed what they think about that. Some people would just see the taking away of the calf as bad for the cow and calf, maybe like you suggest it will lead to something new in our relationship with the cows.

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