Grafting Baby Calves Part 2 – How tos

In Part 1 of this series we talked about choosing the right animals for successful grafting. So, you’ve got a good, loving cow and a ripping good replacement calf. Now is when the work starts. If you have ever observed a normal birth, you know that the cow typically stands up, turns around and begins licking the newborn calf. She will pay particular attention to the mouth and face, the navel area, and the area beneath the tail. I suspect that during this process the cow becomes intimately bonded to the smell of her new baby. This process imparts some permanent information into the cow’s brain, allowing her to sort through an entire herd of calves and recognize hers. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is pretty important, as this linkage allows her calf a good chance of survival. If you are trying to graft a new calf onto a cow, your challenge is to overcome millions of years of instinctual behavior and make that cow accept some new, unknown calf. This challenge will require what might seem to some like a radical approach. You will need to fool the cow into believing that the new calf is, in fact, her dead baby come back to life. To accomplish this, you will need to remove the skin from the dead calf and secure it onto the new baby. Skinning the Dead Calf Skinning a calf is not a terribly difficult project, but it is daunting for first-timers. If you have never skinned a deer, my advice is to ask one of your neighbors who hunts to come and help. Most hunters wo

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