Humphrey was traumatised when he came to the Lodge. He was born during the night and had suckled from his mother and they had formed a strong bond. Humphrey was taken from his mum the very next day and continued, four weeks later, to search for her. For the first three weeks Humphrey would run away calling for his mum. He was grieving and suffered a deep depression that he is only now beginning to emerge from. Getting him to drink was very difficult as he did not want to suckle.
All the stress brought on illness as his gut couldn't cope. He developed intestinal bleeding and scouring. A very dangerous and life threatening condition in a calf so young. Thankfully with much love, attention and veterinary care Humphrey recovered and is now drinking his milk with enthusiasm
Of all the calves Humphrey is the most polite. He is still somewhat withdrawn but is beginning to trust humans again. It was humans, after all who tore him away from his beloved mother in order to steal the milk she had produced for her precious calf. Humphrey loves cuddles and scratches on his back. He is now comforted by the attention he receives but can become sad and lapse back into depression if left alone for too long. As well as all the attention he receives from his human carers, he finds solace with his big “sister” Beatrice.
Beatrice was either very smart or very lucky! We had hardly any troubles encouraging her to suckle, but if the farmer knew that she would have had a very different life! Beatrice was very shy and uncertain at first but after a couple of days she came out of her shell. We then discovered she was a curious little trouble maker, full of personality!
Beatrice would call out to us whenever we left her, especially once Ernie had died. Her favourite game was to run after us and jump over logs and kick her heels up in the air. She would come running when we called her name unless she knew she was in trouble. She loved a good scratch under her neck.
Once she was weaned Beatrice went to live at Fairview Lodge. Here is Marnie’s account of her life now.
Beatrice is the comedian and the Houdini of the group, she can break into anywhere she wants. She knows where the milk powder is kept and she is very good at breaking into the shed and getting stuck into it. She’ll then casually stroll out, licking her lips, with her face covered in the milk powder and an “it wasn’t me” look on her face. Usually she leaves a manure message on the floor of the shed too!
As well as having a taste for the milk powder, Bea also loves bananas, in fact she will help anyone with tasting their food. And don’t leave your veggie burger lying around as it won’t last long with Bea. A whole burger in one mouthful, down the hatch.
Bea is also partial to scratches, kisses and loves to be groomed. She will follow her carers around like a dog. She’s full of life and energy and loves to run as fast as she can around the horse arena. Bea mothers the younger calves, she calls to them and needs to know that they are safe and sound. An absolute character with a very sweet nature.
Wilfred, like Louis, was born during the annual calving season in 2013. One of the workers on the farm took a special liking to him. The worker's job was to go around the dairy farm paddock and pick up all the newly born calves and get the males ready to load onto the slaughterhouse truck. This worker thought Wilfred was very cute and decided to try and find him a home rather than be sent to the abattoir with all the other calves.
Wilfred spent a night with one of his rescuers Emily before been transported in her car to his new home at Fairview Lodge.
Having been through so much in his very short life, Wilfred was listless and depressed when he arrived at the Lodge. He did not want to to feed, he had no desire to suckle and he was not at all happy with the powdered milk.
Wilfred got a bacterial infection in his stomach and bowel which was caused by the switch from his mother’s milk to formula. He got so very ill, was scouring and passing blood, there were grave fears for his life. Thankfully brave Wilfred pulled through and he is now a bright happy little chap, very eager for his bottle and is happy to stay with his carers rather than running off to find his mummy. Wilfred loves nothing more than finding a nice sandy spot under a tree and taking an afternoon snooze after a big feed of hay and pellets. He's not as playful as Beatrice but won't knock back a bit of catch me if you can. He also enjoys chasing the resident chickens. He loves having his head scratched and kisses on his milky moosh. He has the cutest moo for such a big boy . He and Beatrice have become firm friends
Ernie could only hobble around on his fetlock joints and tired very easily, but he had a strong will to live. He was the first of the two calves to suckle from the bottle and the first to try grass and calf meal – he was always hungry!
Ernie had wounds on his fetlocks which were cleaned and his legs were splinted by a veterinarian. He was always so well behaved, even though it would have been an unusual and uncomfortable experience. He always tried to follow Beatrice and me with a sad look in his eye.
After splinting there was an improvement and I was hopeful all would turn out well for this sweet little calf. Unfortunately it did not last and Ernie slowly went downhill. He ended up with an infection and the vet advised to put him to sleep. Even when administered the drug it seemed Ernie would not give up. He lay there unconscious but breathing for a great length of time until the vet finally administered it straight to his heart. He was such a brave little calf that never gave up, and would not have complained about his lot in life even though he had every right to do so.