How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 2

Part 2 – Nurturing your newly acquired Bucks

Golly, I’m beautiful

Moving on to the very important step of Nurturing your newly found Small Bucks.  This is vital, remembering that you are going to need Big Bucks in order to make Lots of Bucks.

Do not forget, at this point, that we should have no, zero, zip knowledge of bucks.  For optimum fun, your knowledge should be confined to standard domesticated animals such as cats and dogs.

Oh – those ears!!

1- – Stare dim-wittedly at your 4 baby buck who, unlike any other animal you have dealt with, do not appear to want to be close to people.

2 – Let the realisation set in that, unlike dogs and cats who descend from hunters, these poor little creatures are, to all intents and purposes, natures’ fodder.  Their instinct is to run!

3- Although they are as cute as any baby could be, these little creatures are terrified.  You also have four of them, so they will bond with each other, not with you.

4 – Get on to practical issues.  These babies need to be fed but with what?  Call everyone you know.  Flatten the phone book.  I’d have called the President if I thought he’d have the right knowledge!

5 – Desert your babies to drive to the nearest town.  Surprise everyone who knows all too well that you do not have children, by buying up a range of baby bottles, sterilizer and all manner of other paraphernalia

Small towns love gossip, so it would be helpful if, at this point, you are in too much of a hurry to explain your motives.  This will keep the locals busy for a while.

6 – Begin what will become your daily routine, every couple of hours, for the next few weeks.

For your reference, so as to avoid unnecessary phone calls to world leaders, cow’s milk is not sufficiently rich for baby Springbok.  When a baby Springbok’s mom is off foraging, the baby awaits, lying low in the long Bushveld grass, with its’ ears held flat (to avoid being seen by predators).  Depending on the dangers the mother encounters, she may stay away for quite some time, avoiding drawing attention to her baby.  This may mean waiting for extended periods between feeds, thus necessitating a richer milk mixture.

Ears held flat to avoid detection in the bush

7 – Mixing egg yolks with cows’ milk provides a good natural alternative.  This, of course, leaves you with loads full of left over egg white – I hope you like meringues.

8 – Let the games begin!  In order to feed a baby, you need to catch a baby.  If this were a hungry puppy or kitten, you’d have no problem but these little critters are already fast enough to out run large African predators, so what chance do you figure I’d have?  They can, literally, leap over your head!  Fabulous!

9 – Call in the help of one of the farm staff who is good with animals.

We had constructed the enclosure to have a thatched roof section, surrounded on three sides with hay bales (to keep them warm) and an open, fenced area around that.  The back portion was narrow, so we cleverly started the process of me herding the buck there, where my unsuspecting assistant awaited their arrival, ready to catch one as it ran past.  Brilliant – this should work like a charm!

The buck come belting and pronking (that straight up jumping motion a Springbok makes), over assistants head.  Too his incredible credit, he managed to catch one and we quickly learnt our mistake.  These animals have been built to survive encounters with Africa’s wild hunters, all of which have greater strength, skill and speed than us lowly people.  One survival mechanisms is a kick beyond anything the Olympic athletes have managed to muster.  Poor assistant got a hammering!

And those spindly legs – how could they pack such a PUNCH!

10 – Confuse the small town locals by appearing in a generally disheveled state, rushing around to find the thickest, longest gloves available.  Again, avoid explaining your actions.  Remember, you have a duty to those around you and, if that is to provide them with good gossip conversation, then so be it.

11 – Return to farm.  Arm assistant with long armed gloves and restart the process of being beaten up by adorable looking babies.

12 – Again, to assistant’s credit, he proved to me phenomenal at catch the buck.  Once caught and I had a bottle in the mouth, the buck would lie perfectly still, sucking at a breathtaking speed.  With milk finished, they would instantly bold again.  I was delighted.  This was going well!

13 – Only after a few feeds did I start to see a pattern.  All four buck would race around the back, leaping and pronking over assistant.  Each time, one proved to be easy to catch.  Now it’s important to remember that they all look identical.  It suddenly dawned on me that one greedy little so-and-so was allowing himself to be caught and had flattened three full bottles.  The others had had nothing!

14 – Run aimlessly around the farm until you miraculously find some wool (not mine – I’ve never knitted a thing).  Find four different colours and start catching the buck to put different colour wool collars on each one.

15 – Break eggs, separate, mix in with milk, heat to required temperature and return to the babies.  Start the feeding frenzy again.  Find out that you were spot on!  One buck liked his food enough to be caught each time.  He looked mortified that we now kept letting him go.

16 – Finally finish the first of many feeding frenzies to take up your following days.

17 – Collapse in a heap but not before cleaning and sterilizing all the bottles, ready for the next run in with wild babies.

Part 3 will follow, as we continue our mad adventures and desperate attempts to grow our small bucks into big bucks.  Stay tuned!

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57 Comments

Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

57 responses to “How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 2

  1. oh, these guys couldn’t be cuter!!! So soft.. and those EYES!!! I want small bucks!

  2. Oh so cute – but I don’t know that I’d have the nerve to go through all that for a feeding. Love that one little guy was clever enough to get fed more than once.

  3. How long ago was it when you ad these babies?… You knows I made a fool of meself part one…thinking it was happening now. They are so cute, what an experience..I would love that .
    Mollie x

  4. LOL it sounds like quite a process!

  5. Great pictures! They are beautiful creatures! And it looks like they give you quite a workout! (And I thought Taylor’s ears were huge…) 😉

  6. What an amazing, thoroughly exhausting experience!! Those faces…those legs! And how many times a day was this routine, hahahahha???

  7. Oh my goodness! You are so smart and resourceful to find what these babies need!! I see these events happened a while back, but I am eager to read more installments–they are so adorable!

    • It did happen a while back but seems to be a part of my entire person still (I guess we become who we are through the experiences we have). It did seem to deserve a post on an animal rescue site.

      PS – I think “smart and resourceful” might be more likely if I’d bothered to do the research before they arrived, although, admittedly, their need did come as a surprise.

  8. They are so cute!!! I wish I had some!! Hee hee another brilliant post, I can’t wait for part three!

  9. Oh this is a wonderful tale! The babies are adorable too but my goodness…….what a lot of WORK! 😀

    Pam (and Sam)

  10. What a great story, and such beautiful creatures they are! I’ll bet the experience was worth every second of the work you did. So glad you posted about it!

  11. I’ve fed orphan lambs, piglets and calves, one harder than the other but nothing as challenging as that, they are too cure tho.

  12. Wonderful series and great pictures. I am really enjoying the journey you have undertaken with the little one.

  13. I was hoping you would post about these little cuties again; no doubt you’ll need a stiff drink after all the exertion!

  14. That sounds like quite a challenge, but they’re gorgeous!

  15. Oh my word they are so cute!! I love this post, the pictures in my head as you describe the event had me laughing and smiling the whole while.

  16. I hope the farmhand got hazard pay for that! OMG I can only imagine the bruises. 😦

  17. I can see those little bucks springing all over the place. I bet once you managed to feed them all you had a good laugh about it.

  18. Loved these posts and great pix too. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  19. europasicewolf

    Growing small bucks into big bucks sounds like so much fun! And such beautiful wild babies too 🙂 What a wonderful assistant you have too, so bold and brave despite the baby buck beatings assistant has to endure!

  20. Chancy and Mumsy

    Adorable little critter…just look at those sweet faces and beautiful eyes. Terrific pictures!! Hugs and nose kisses

  21. You have your hands full there! Looks like a steep learning curve! Great post.

  22. That made me tired just reading this! What an education you are getting, though.

  23. Oh, how sweet that little buck is. I’m sitting with a big smile on my face reading this posts, it’s so lovely 🙂

  24. Hey Litchi, Jet here. Hi Miss Susan.

    Uh… Miss Susan? Mom is almost rolling on the floor giggling… only kidding, that’s what she feels like doing because you write so humorously! Oh my dog, what a process! Mom has LOTS of yarn… let her know if you need some for color coding!!!

    • Thanks for the yarn offer. That’s a real first for me. I wonder if I could put “get offer for yarn” on my bucket list, so I can then cross it off. I’m fairly certain this is only likely to happen once.

      Glad you had a laugh. That makes everything worth while.

  25. Wow you are really doing it! What dedication. We love the part about flattening the phone book. Those locals must very confused 🙂

    Bella and DiDi

    • The locals already thought I was quite mad before any of this started. I am English speaking, of British decent. They are Afrikaans and many have not ventured more than a few kilometres from the farms on which they and many generations of their families were born. Being the latest oddity to have landed in their area was only cemented by my new found mania.

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