Betsy. She’s an orphan – her mother drowned in the creek at a ranch in Lostine, and the rancher didn’t have time to deal with her so he gave her to us for free. At the same time we acquired a heifer from him that had lost her baby recently. Both mother and baby are the same breed as our other cows, Scottish Highlanders. The idea is to get the heifer to adopt Betsy as her own. Betsy’s all about it: she’s anxious to wile her way into her new mother’s good graces and yummy milk. Unfortunately the cow wants nothing to do with her, and kicks her when she tries to nurse. What to do?

Distract the cow with some hay to munch on and then squeeze her between the fence and a metal gate, so Betsy has a chance to get some milk. It’s sort of a fiasco every morning and evening, with the reluctant mama cow being a constant stupidhead. We try to let the baby nurse for a while, then to make sure she’s getting enough we feed her 2 quarts of formula morning and evening as well. Betsy is starting to be friendly towards us now, because we give her the only thing on the planet she cares about, milkytime.

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