Mama cow adopts Piglet

Posted on 26 January 2011

We had some severe cold weather in Decatur County in the 1950s.

During the cold spell, some time in the early part of winter, we had a cow to give birth to a calf that died. The mama cow was in bad shape. She was unable to get up on her feet.

My husband and son made a ground sled and dragged the cow onto it and transported her up to the barn.

They put the cow in a pen under the shelter right next to an ole sow that had just give birth to 13 pigs. A sow only has 12 litters so one little pig was looking real puny.

A day or two later we discovered the little puny pig was squirming through a crack in the petition between the two pens and nursing from the cow’s bag.

My husband was feeding and watering the cow daily, hoping to bring her back to good health. However, she remained down for several weeks.

All this time the puny pig was getting a whole bag full of milk from the cow. He started getting fatter and fatter. He was so fat he looked as if he was rolling when he walked. Finally, the cow was able to get up, but she would lay down to let the pig nurse.

The pig got so fat he couldn’t hardly walk and my husband decided it was time to separate them.

He put the cow in the grazing field with the rest of the cattle herd. All the cattle was red with white faces.

One day I was looking out the kitchen window watching the cattle graze. I saw fat pig running up and down the fence rooting around looking for a hole to get through to his adopted mama.

I got my camera out and loaded it with film. I just knew that pig was going to get through to his mama. He squirmed under the fence, he ran up to the first, cow and tilted his head to one side to look at the cows face.

He decided she was not his mom so he did the same thing with two or three other cows before his mom said, “Moo.” He ran straight to her.

He stood on his back feet with one foot propped against the cow’s hind leg. His foot would gradual slide down the cow’s leg and he would quickly catch with his other foot.

When he got his belly full of milk, he dropped down to all four feet.

The cow usually licked him as cows lick their calves. This particular day she didn’t lick him. I think maybe she was kinda shy.

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Winter 2013

Winter 2013