How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 3

Part 3 – Your Bucks are beginning to grow!

Even though I’m Black, you can start to see the Springbok Stripe now

After the first few days, they began to trust me, walking up to take their drink from a bottle.  I’m sure “assistant” was extremely pleased to see the end of his daily buck beatings.  I still needed his help.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that you cannot hold four bottles out at one time (see, sometimes I’m not that slow).

A tiny White Star is appearing on my Forehead!

At the beginning, they had all looked exactly the same but I soon found I could tell the difference.  No-one else could but I could see mild differences in size, gait and, most importantly, personality.  Starbuck, as he became known, was the biggest of them – the one who had “allowed” himself to be caught for extra feeds.  Thaba, which means “rejoice” in Sesotho (one of our eleven official languages in this country!) was my little baby boy.  He wouldn’t have made it in the wild.  He was too small and had something wrong with his mouth.  When drinking, half the milk would slither down his face – real messy baby he was.  The two girls were somewhere in between the boys in size and behaved like true ladies.  They would drink politely and then move onto the lucern (another thing I found out I had to source in order to get them grazing).  Starbuck, being the biggest, boldest, naughtiest and greediest, would suck on his bottle until it created a vacuum.  Then he’d start knocking the others off their bottles to get more.  I guess men of all species are the same.  Sorry guys.

See my Little Horns starting to grow!

At one point, Starbuck became so engrossed in his bottle that, once finished, he latched onto my finger and started sucking that.  Incredible!  I have never experienced anything that soft and velvety.  A Springbok’s tongue is the most delightful thing on earth.  Their fur is spectacularly but there will never be anything like the tongue.  I highly recommend that everyone attempts to grow some bucks and, in the process, rudely stick your finger in their mouths.

I’m a Girl, so my Horns a smaller

I managed to get to touch and stroke them but only while feeding.  No bottle – No cuddle.  That was their motto.  Thaba did take to following me around, though.  I could say “let’s go for a walk” and he’d politely follow me wherever I chose to go.  Starbuck, being the tough-guy man, approached things differently.  He decided that bum head-butting was a far more exciting enterprise.  I quickly learnt to keep an eye on his whereabouts at all times.

How Silky is my Coat?

The marginally insane locals, thought I was completely nuts, going to all this trouble for what seemed to be a perfectly good meal.  They told me, with great authority, that it was two weeks bottle feeding, followed by forced weaning.  What?  Have you met a baby that get’s weaned after two weeks?  So, I did my own research and found out that 4 weeks was the standard.  I stuck to this and, blow me down (gently, please), the babies started weaning themselves at around the 4 week mark.  They started accepting fewer bottles during the day and started grazing more.  Guess what, nature kind of knows what it’s doing.  Let it take its’ course and things work out far better.



Filed under Adoptions, Sprinbok

48 responses to “How to make BIG BUCKS out of SMALL BUCKS – Part 3

  1. Lovely to see their progress!
    Bella and DiDi

  2. Adorable! Yes, humans need to fine-tune their Nature listening skills! 😉

  3. Love their names…. And I can’t get over those EYES!

  4. Oh wow, how glorious. They grow so fast!

  5. I was so excited to see your next blog post about the baby bucks! I loved reading about your experience with the soft tongue. These animals are SO cute! 4 weeks weaning … oh, that must be hard (and yet rewarding) to watch them grow. 🙂

    • I am so glad you are enjoying the journey. I am sure I’m writing too much for most people to read. I try to keep them as short as I can but there is just so much to say. I write and write and then have to delete half of it to make it relatively short – see, here I go again, writing a novel on place of a simple “thank you” but I really do mean the Thank You.

  6. crystalwayward

    What a beautiful story. And what beautiful creatures. That the people wanted to wean them too early reminds me of a government statistic that suggested a great deal of humans in the U.S. do the same to their own babies. I guess people like to rush things.

    • Nature knows what is best. Why rush things. There was no weaning pain doing it my way. The simply took fewer bottles each day and eventually didn’t bother. They decided when they were ready. So much easier. Whey do people want to rush everything these days? They lose out on so much.

  7. What an amazing journey! They are so gorgeous and I truly enjoy your posts about them and can’t wait for the next.

    I’m curious about Thaba’s mouth, what is it that was wrong and is it something that corrected itself as he grew?

    • Thanks – that means so much 🙂 Thaba seemed to just have the true “buck teeth”. He pretty much always had that silly grin on his face, because his teeth stuck out so much. He was also very much smaller than the others. In the wild, they are the ones that are picked off first.

  8. Lovely pictures and descriptions – so different from anything we have here so nice to learn about something new.

  9. They grow so’s a shame ( like most animals ) they don’t stay babies for long 😦 xx

  10. Hey Starbuck, Hey Sosotho, Hey Thaba, Hey ?, Jet here. Hi Miss Susan.

    You have captivated us with this series. Mom lingers on the photos and now wants to pet a springbok. Thank you for making your own decision on weaning, certainly seems more logical.

  11. Susan, these animals are so cute…what wonderful eyes they have…thanks for sharing their new beginnings.

  12. I did smile when you mentioned the finger sucking. My cat still does that to the tall person 🙂

    • Too cute – your cat sucking on your finger. The only difference would be that a cat’s tongue is quite rough, where a Springbok’s is quite beyond description. I am battling to find the words to explain just how soft it really is.

  13. absolutley gorgeous, and what an absolutely wonderful experience 🙂

  14. Awww!! Isn’t it awesome making big bucks out of little bucks?!! I love their little tiny horn growths and the little star appearing, and they look so silky and soft – the little bucks not the horns lol 😉 Starbuck makes me laugh he sounds a real character – very cheeky!

  15. I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award…. you can find the details in my most recent post. Congrats and thank you for all your support!

  16. O i wish we had some little bucks!

  17. I do think we tend to do everything too fast now a days. I’m glad you did your research and took your time and I’m sure they were the better for it.

    • Thanks. As with every living creature, they do better if they’ve had the right amount of weaning time. It was easy, the way I did it. No performance, no crying. They simply decided for themselves when they no longer required milk.

  18. I’m so agreeing with you, let everything go natural, nature teaches us more then books.
    Even if these bucks are growing, they’re looking still like little babies so cute. I wish I could feel their softness and the finger sucking 😀

  19. I am catching up. Very interesting. They do look bigger and I am sure are even bigger now.

    • Don’t worry, been in exactly the same place as you, desperately trying to catch up on past reading and bombarding a site with comments as I go through. Boy, if you miss a day, you’re in real trouble, it seems. And yes, they grow so fast – they have to if they are going to survive the African Wild.

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