Daisy and Lucky are relatively new additions to SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary in Manchester, Mich. In fact, Lucky was not even in the picture yet when Daisy came to the sanctuary, perhaps this is for the best as the circumstances that brought Daisy to SASHA were not exactly ideal.
Daisy, the cow, was rescued from a backyard butcher who was running a small slaughterhouse in Riga, Mich. She was kept alive for the sole purpose of producing calves for slaughter. Daisy had given birth to three calves before her rescue. Knowing humans only as the people responsible for taking her babies away from her, Daisy was understandable averse to humans upon being rescued by SASHA staff.
When she arrived at SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, she was allowed to roam in an open pasture and come in and out of the barn as she pleased, since she was pregnant, she was kept separate from the other animals.
After six days living at the sanctuary, Daisy gave birth to Lucky. Still a bit weary of humans, Daisy began to be even more distrusting of humans since she had a little calf to take care of. The story of Daisy and Lucky does not end here though.
The result of being bred over and over, three out of four of Daisy’s teats had dried up, meaning lucky was unable to drink the colostrum, or first milk from her mother. The colostrum is filled with antibodies that serve as the beginning of the baby’s immune system. Without these nutrients, the calf is in danger of falling ill and needs to be very carefully attended.
A few weeks after birth, Lucky was taken to the vet and test results showed that he was very low in nutrients, the result of not drinking the colostrum. The vet put Lucky on antibiotics and he has since improved noticeably. Daisy and Lucky did have a bit of a scare and vets believed the pair had Johne’s Disease, a bacterial infection in the intestine that can be very fatal to cows. Thankfully, this did not end up being the case. The traumatic beginning to Lucky’s life is now fading into the past. He is bottle fed five times a day and is growing stronger and stronger.
Daisy has remained a bit shy and is very protective of Lucky, but according to Christine Wagner, of SASHA Farm, the pair are doing well, “[Daisy]seems to know we are not there to hurt her or Lucky. Lucky is coming out of his shell now that he is bottle fed and being handled so much. He can be silly sometimes and prances around like a little deer following after his mom.”
Presumably after a life without treats, Daisy absolutely loves the treats she is being given by SASHA staff and has been known to cheekily steal some from Lucky at times. Wagner continues, “She is getting used to people. When we feed Lucky, we feed her grain and she has allowed us to be around him.”
Because Daisy was so hesitant around people when she first arrived, Wagner tells OGP,”It’s nice to see that she is not as uncomfortable around people. Daisy enjoys a daily treat of one banana hand-fed to her and has let the Assistant Director rub her nose and pet her head.”
In a span of two months, this is great progress for a cow who spent her entire life knowing nothing but pain from humans.
From the story of Daisy and Lucky, Wagner hopes people will walk away knowing, “Daisy and Lucky were removed from being part of a terrible system of cows being bred to have calf after calf only to have them taken away and fatten up to be slaughtered for meat.” She continues,”The person who owned Daisy likely knew she was a dry cow and could not continue to nurse calves on her own. He bred her anyway since he probably planned to take her calf away anyhow and toss him into the slaughter cycle like all the rest….To the man who owned them they were money making property and nothing else. When he no longer needed them they would be discarded and slaughtered.”
However, since they came to live on SASHA, Wagner tells OGP,”Daisy and Lucky will no longer endure those things and will be free from harm. They have been able to form mother-calf bonding when they never would have otherwise.”
We will look forward to watching this pair adjust to their new happy life together and enjoy all the treats and love their hearts desire.