Cows and coyotes generally ignore each other. But when there are baby calves, mama cows go into Sasquatch mode. One of the cows was deep in the labor process when I drove the tractor down to the pasture to feed. Some instinct tells them to move away from the herd, finding their own quiet spot to give birth. All the cows and calves, and the cows still heavy with unborn calves, ambled over to the chow line I was putting out for them.
When I turned the tractor, I saw that cow with her front end squared off, two little hoof ends heading into the world from her hind end, and one coyote moving back from her shaking head and bellow.
Running the tractor back up to the shed, I grabbed my rifle and pick-up. I don’t think that coyote will be back anytime soon. But he did manage to delay that birth so that the calf came just before dark in the cold.
Mama was busy licking, but the little one was shivering hard. Pulling up beside them, I turned the floor heat on high, opened the passenger door and folded that little guy into the pick-up, rubbing him with a towel and reassuring mom that I wasn’t going to hurt him.
After trying a few different things, I ended up loading them both into the stock trailer and parking it in front of the barn out of the wind. I bedded them down in the front of the trailer with a pile of straw. Full dark now, I trusted Mama to do her thing undisturbed and safe out of the wind. She did and now the pair is doing well. Mobile maternity ward to the rescue.