Orphaned Calf Relief Project

(Dr. (Affton Schlochtermeier) This is our Calf Project, the Orphaned Calf Relief Project of southwest Kansas. This is my 4-H Club here. The 4-Leaf Clover, 4-H Club and we’re here from Meade. So far we’ve taken in about 96 calves. We have them divided among 25 different families. We try to keep about two each just so they can get the TLC that they need and just all the proper care. We do have some families that have three or four just depending on how much they’re willing to take on and the shape of the calves that they’re in. These seven here are the ones that my family are feeding. We got pretty lucky with ours. We only have one that was burned pretty badly. She has some singed hair but other than that, they’re all doing well. Just treating them as we’re seeing that they need it. (Walker Koons) We’ve taken in five calves to feed and care for and help them. We feed them three times a day, once in the morning, once at noon and then supper eating at night. Since I’m so young I really can’t do a whole lot. If this is what I can do to help then this is what I want to do. (Karey Henson) I’m helping out with two calves. I think it’s just about being able to help out because I like to be able to help out with cows. This year I also get to show a bigger cow for a second year bucket calf. (Kendal Henson) Yes, this has been the biggest disaster but us helping out these calves has been a great help for all of us. Then one thing was for me is if that fire had turned it would’ve gone towards my grandpa’s house. I know if we’d lost our stuff and we had bucket calves, I know people would help us out. I’m glad I can help these people out with theirs and raise them good and so we can get them back. They’ll be able to start it all over. (Logan Kane) I have three calves. They’re all in pretty good shape. One of them is pretty young. We feed them two to three times a day. I’ve been in 4-H for almost two years. (Phillip Urquidez) 4-H is really fun and it’s about helping other people out. It makes me feel like you’re a great person. (Dixie Harlow) When we heard about the 4-H’s up here taking in the orphaned calves, we chose as a family to try to help out. Rachelle and Erin kept in touch with us. Originally we just started with four calves, they were the ones in rougher shape; they weren’t taking a bottle when we took them home. They had some severe, you could see that there were some burns where already at that, were pretty visible to the eye. That night we got home, we had one that was not doing good at all, you could tell where her side had been completely singed from the fire. We laid her down; you could see the steam coming up. We covered her up in straw to try to stabilize her body temperature, we really were not sure she was going to still be with us on Saturday morning, but we went out to do chores that morning and she was turned a different direction, uncovered from the hay, had her head up. That was definite sign for hope for us, getting these little babies home. (Jamie) You’re going to cry. (Dixie) I am going to cry because this is what they lost; this is what they get left. For a little over a week and a half now, we have been washing burns and doctoring burns. We have two calves that have burns across their necks and up on their faces. We have been cutting and washing dead hide off just so it can heal, so far everything we’ve taken off has had good fresh pink flesh underneath it, it’s not infected. We had had zero infection with it, in the time we’ve had them, we have one that has graduated outside of the four, it’s such a blessing to watch him thrive and be happy and run around his pen. The other one, we have one, she has a pretty good burn around one of her eyes, today the vet came and told us that we could send her outside if we salved up her eye really good every day and she can walk in the morning. For most of the mornings, that is two that we have that are thriving so well, it’s nice that with all of our hard work that we can do that for these ranchers who have lost so much. Then we have the other two, they have some good burns like I said on the sides of their faces, around their eyes, on their mouths but they look good. The vet was very impressed with them; we have been doing a salve with aloe and colostrum powder that we’ve been putting on them. We have put almond oil around their eyes, so that way we can keep that flesh hydrated. We’ve been putting ointment on them, Jamie actually gets to spray them down with some lavender water every night, she enjoys that a little bit, that’s her part of helping as much as she can. As we wash this flesh and these burnt hides we snip off every little bit that has started lifting up, that way we can keep that fresh coming and not getting infected underneath it, trying to create as less scar tissue as we can with it. We took in one on Friday night that, so we’ve run a week then, that wasn’t doing very well at all. We’ve started washing him and working with him. The vet today, I was very hopeful that he was going to maybe come out of this. He takes the bottle very very well, his burns are on his back legs, underneath his belly but he’s looking very very good today and the vet was very pleased. We’re excited and hopeful that if we can keep his ability to thrive going and his willingness to go, that he’ll come out of it as well. We’re working our way up and hoping to get as many of these guys back as we can and to keep them going as well as they have. The kids have been getting up every morning, going to do chores. They were on spring break last week, so it worked well for them. This week’s not so much spring break and they’re still getting up early and helping, they’re staying out as late as they can at night to help, between doctoring and giving bottles at night, it takes us about two hours to wash and get their wounds cleaned up and salved, get good food down them. We’re hopeful that in a couple weeks they’ll even be thriving more.

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