A newborn Dexter calf has survived against all odds after five days lost in bushland at Cloud 9 Farm.

On Saturday while Alan and Susy were working at the cellar door, unsuspectingly, a Dexter cow went into labour. The cow and calf both died during the birth, leaving Alan and Susy devastated. Alan buried the cow and calf that evening.
Alan said the very upsetting time made them question whether they had taken on too many tasks.
“The cellar door was our focus on this day”, said Alan. “Perhaps we were doing too many things, and not the important things.”

Little did they know that the calf’s twin had survived the birth and had been hiding up in bushland.
“A miserable week was interrupted by a miracle,” said Alan. “On Thursday emerged a very small, frail calf from hiding in our bush paddock. …We did not search for a calf on the Saturday because we buried one with the mother.”

When the resilient calf was found it was starving and only just alive.
“We started to feed her small amounts of milk from one of our other cows, and electrolytes in alternate feeds,” said Alan.
The calf, which has been named Belle, is getting stronger each day.

“The little heifer calf has shown such a willingness to live against the odds,” he said. “She is now drinking about three to four litres of milk a day. Our plan is to build her strength up to a point where we can let her be with other cows. We will also see if Bessie, our Jersey cow, will accept her as her own. Fingers crossed.”

Photos by Loz Dalton