Bernise is a wonderful cow with a beautiful disposition. She is a seasoned mother who has had many healthy calves. But her new baby, JuJube has had serious trouble since birth. In an industry where farmers are faced with difficult choices, a calf like JuJube might not get an opportunity to overcome such a poor start in life. Most farmers just cannot justify the expense. Fortunately, Bernise and JuJube live on a wonderful farm in Millbrook, Ontario. The cows here wander freely over vast expanses of lush, green pasture. They have ponds to drink from and fresh air and sunshine almost all year round. Life here is as close as possible to what nature intended for these gentle beasts. The cows are treated almost like pets and the farmers see herd health as being more important than profit. Bernise and her calf deserve a proper chance, and the farmers are caring enough to provide it, even if it means a greater cost and more effort on their part. Bernise has been a good cow and she obviously cares for her baby too. If Bernise isn't ready to give up on JuJube, neither is farmer Dave. JuJube is outwardly robust and healthy. He is a big calf and he nurses well, but he has difficulty standing and he cannot get to his feet on his own. A calf can only nurse if he can get up and he cannot follow the herd if he can't walk. JuJube's weakness may be caused by a condition called "white muscle disease". A lack of selenium in the soil can mean that some calves are born with a deficiency in this important mineral. The first treatment for JuJube is a round of vitamins A,D, and E, along with mineral supplements. A veterinarian has also come to look at JuJube and try to diagnose the problem. But JuJube requires more than medical treatment. Until he is strong enough, the farmer and his helpers will bottle feed JuJube and elp him to his feet several times per day. He needs encouragement to walk and build his muscles. He also needs frequent sponge baths to keep him clean. Because he is less able to move, his hair can get soiled with his feces. Left unclean, this would invite flies, infections, and other problems. Farmer Dave is committed and won't let this stop him from giving JuJube a fighting chance. As the days went on, JuJube responded to treatments and care and he eventually began to walk well enough to keep up with his mother. If he continues to progress, JuJube will enjoy a good life here in the Canadian sunshine, thanks to a farmer who cared enough to make this possible.
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