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Orphaned Calves Update -- Missouri Ranch

I spent the past week down at the Missouri Ranch southeast of Springfield. I always like to come down here at least once a year, as it's a nice little get away. I was really excited to come this summer though, because I knew that Jane had two orphaned bison bottle calves she was caring for and I couldn't wait to see little bison calves so up close!

Every now and again, a mom will not be able to care for her calf. Sometimes the mom doesn't realize the calf is hers, sometimes when there's twins, the mom doesn't realize a second calf is hers, and sometimes the calves get sick. So, there are times when you end up with an orphaned calf. Jane's had them in the past, but usually isn't able to get them to bottle feed, which is imperative for bison calves, so that they can get all the nutrients they need to survive.

This spring however, Jane ended up with two calves, both of which she was successfully able to save. Both of the calves seem to be doing great, strong and healthy, and they should be able to reintegrate with the herd next year.


Scout (the smaller calf) came first. She was born and her mom didn't take on to her. Jane rescued her and not long after Atti came along. Atti's mom is one of our oldest bison moms and has always been a great mom to them. However, Atti became sick and would have died if Jane did not rescue her.

But the good news is, that Scout and Atti have each other and both are doing well. Enjoy the pictures below from my time with Scout and Atti! If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you'll find a video as well!


This bottle is big enough for a bison! This is the bottle Jane uses to bottle feed the calves. Scout is weaned and no longer requires bottle feeding, however Atti is still taking the bottle.

Here's a picture of Jane feeding Atti from the bottle. She is very shy and won't eat when strangers are around, so this was the best picture I could get!


Scout and Atti seem to be great friends... and very protective of each other. It was very interesting and cool to see how they interact with each other and the relationship that they have.

They have a small pen with access to inside the barn and access outside with the grass as well. In the fall their pen will get an upgrade with taller fences (as they get bigger and stronger) and more space as well. Next year they will hopefully be able to re-integrate with the herd.

A close up of Scout.
Grazing on hay.

I'm told that Lilly has always been interested in the calves ever since they arrived, but they have only recently warmed up to her. At first she made them very nervous and they would act like they wanted to attack her. But now they interact with her as well.

 

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