Trying to keep track of the twin calves since my “Good News” post took a little extra time and effort because their mother didn’t come into hay with all the rest of the first-calf heifers. Several times I glassed the area where I found them on the 9th, but with little luck. On Monday the 12that the place where they were born, I found her with two other heifers with newborn calves. I spent some time with them while searching the down oak limbs for the missing twin only to report to Robbin and the crew that she’d probably lost one of the calves.
Two days later at my desk in the middle of the afternoon, I caught some movement on the hillside outside my window and went to the door to see a coyote chased by Buster, our German Shepherd/Great Pyrenees drop-off, disappear over the rise. After a couple of minutes of prolonged barking, I was worried for the dog and reached for my rifle by the door as three coyotes came running down the fence at me. So fat and big, I thought they were mottled wild pigs at first, then entertained a fleeting notion that they might be wolves, running by me so close I couldn’t find them in my scope before disappearing.
But the old, old Border Collie Jack and Boo, a Blue Healer drop-off, had headed them off and brought two back. In retrospect, the twenty-plus first-calf heifers may have helped turn them around. Long-haired and well-fed, these were not native coyotes, but refugees from the pines, either the SQF Complex or Creek Fires. They were lost, and more than likely, the cows north of the house had propelled all three in our direction. With no way of knowing, I wanted to blame them for the missing calf.
With cooler temperatures and older calves, the cows are edging higher up the hill for our remaining old feed between our twice-a-week feed days. Yesterday, after Bob and Allie laid some hay down for the first-calf heifers, Robbin and I took the Kubota up the hill to locate the rest of the heifers. As we came back down, we spotted three cows and four calves in an inaccessible spot as they were deciding which way to come off the ridge where I had photographed the twins on the 9th.
We gathered up some flakes of hay and met them at the bottom, two new pairs, the twins and their mother.