Blossom Gets Colostrum

2:30 A.M. Calving Stall. Nonchalantly I squat beside Big Mama, push my forehead into her warm flank to offer reassurance, dodge a few tail swats, and fend off a hind-leg kick, then squeeze a two-liter bottleful of colostrum from a tight udder.

Blossom needs her first critical nourishment present in that first-milk from a freshened cow. Amazing design comes in play during her first 48 hours. During that period the cells of a calf’s gut, typically held together in tight junctions, are loose enough to allow large proteins to squeeze between them and enter the bloodstream.  Colostrum is loaded with just such large protein molecules – antibodies – crafted to protect Blossom from microbes she will encounter until she can produce her own. Germs that can put a quick end to any hope for her flourishing. Blossom’s gut is vulnerable. Colostrum-antibodies are like military Special Forces stealthily patrolling her bloodstream for invaders. They also act as gatekeepers, little TSA agents that coat the cells of her gut to arrest bad-guy’s germs bearing guns, knives and bombs.

I cap the bottle with a big red nursing nipple. Awestruck, I watch Blossom orchestrate her tongue and jaw perfectly to draw in the rich liquid nutrients.

Let the flourishing begin.

I’m lost in wonder. But the wonder stirs up a longing. I wish I had someone that would patrol my deep places and rescue me. Save me. Keep on saving me.

Take A Deep Breath of Remember:

(Hebrew 7:25, KJV) Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 There He is. My advocate. My resurrected, ascended-to-heaven Jesus pleading for my salvation, having begun, to keep working in me through eternity.

Prayer: Jesus, lover of our souls, fill our veins with Your ever-saving presence. Amen.

Author’s aside:

Some of you are asking yourself if I used the KJV to preserve the word “uttermost” because it sounds like udder-most. Why yes, of course.

Also, I hadn’t traveled by air for 10+ years until two weeks ago. Had to de-board the plane for a second TSA screening before leaving Bozeman airport when a man remembered his loaded gun in his wheelchair. But, hey, I live in Montana.

8 thoughts on “Blossom Gets Colostrum

  1. Ron, this stuff is fascinating! Much more interesting that the lifeless information in a textbook… I think its because, when you teach, you show that the Creator and His creation must be kept together in the same lesson package when it is passed from teacher to student. Secular textbooks become lifeless, or “without life” because they cutout the Creator, or “Author of Life” from the lesson package – so, information without its source of Life is dead information. No wonder many children become bored and disinterested in typical classrooms.

    So, in this story I see that, by design from the Creator, the calf has a one-time 48 hr window of opportunity to receive anti-bodies that it is lacking. However, evil is also present trying to take advantage of that condition. Also, by design from the Creator, the mother has a window where she is producing not the usual milk, but colostrum – a uniquely engineered anti-body/nutrient that bypasses digestion and goes straight into the blood… AND then “guards the door” so that no evil can take advantage of the same path.

    Hallelujah! Glory to God for His great wisdom and cleverness in designing His creation!

    1. Robert, you pointed out something I hadn’t noticed. Those antibodies are proteins that typically would have been reduced to amino acids via normal digestive processes, and therefore rendered non-functional. It’s like a window during which the rules are broken. All by design. Yes! What a glorious God!
      I want to stay in awe. Sometimes in the thick of actually feeding newborn calves (avg 1-2 per day) I just want to get the job done, get frustrated, forget what I’m invited to participate in. I hope my writing helps others notice things in their surroundings that lead us to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I don’t know if someone, for instance, working in a cubicle can notice such things. But I gotta a feeling that He’s there if we are looking for Him.

  2. I like the part of “…patrol my deep places. Save me. Keep on saving me.” It reminded me of Proverbs 20:27: “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the innermost parts of his being”.

    And then, ‘Save me… and keep on saving me’ reminded me of what the song Rock of Ages calls our need for a “Double Cure” from sin – judgement of sin and nature of sin. The double cure is The Water and The Blood. We need salvation from judgement of our sin and daily salvation from our nature of sin in the flesh.

    In washing the disciples feet, the part that is in daily contact with the world needs daily washing with water (John 13:10).

    Nothing was allowed in the temple and serve in the ministry unless it had been sprinkled/cleansed by the blood (Heb 9:21-22).

    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    Let me hide myself in Thee;
    Let the water and the blood,
    From Thy wounded side which flowed,
    Be of sin the double cure,
    Save from wrath and make me pure.
    (Rock of Ages, original 1763 version)

    Hallelujah! Glory to God that our salvation was completely accomplished on the Cross!

    Your friend, B.

    1. Robert, thanks for sharing the scriptures and lyrics that came to your mind. Something you noticed sparked a memory and a connection back to what was already in your heart. Your sharing then makes my experience all the richer and sparks even more little rememberings. That emboldens me to keep sharing my observations and stories because the result can be beyond anything I intend. I will be pondering the beauty of the “double cure” all day long. Thanks for pointing me to our Savior.

  3. Ron, still meditating on this one…

    So the calf eagerly desires the milk from its mother. And, at first, it is not just milk but antibodies. And not just random antibodies – mother cow has been a walking laboratory culturing the unique antibodies needed specifically for life in this particular herd… medicine for the particular germ threats that prowl in their area. Perhaps science may even find that this “medicine” from mother cow is genetically optimized to the calf she gave birth to?

    How does the calf get this great medicine? Easy-squeezy! The calf just does what comes natural when something is put into its mouth – God’s design takes care of the rest. The medicine takes a detour in the gut just before digestion and goes straight into the calf’s blood stream and then guards the door behind it. Amazing!

    Man has a clumsy substitution for this…. Lets get a “shotgun cocktail” of antibodies manufactured in a factory, from who know were, and then scare the daylights out of the calf so we can ram a sharpened metal tube into its body and pump the gloop through it.

    The calf wisely chooses the milk! The calf has the wisdom to eagerly desire the milk that his Creator prepared for it. The calf is engineered to fit the milk and the milk is engineered to fit the calf. Amazing!

    As God’s children, if we just had the wisdom of the calf to desire the milk that our Creator prepared for us.
    “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:2)”

    What if… the milk of God’s Word was more that just nice words? What if the first milk to the calf is also a teaching example of a spiritual truth – that the milk of God’s Word has far greater power within that what natural eyes can see?
    “… the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)”
    “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
    Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.
    For they are life to those who find them And health [H4832] to all their whole body.(Prov 4:20-22)
    {Strong’s dictionary for H4832 says: “… medicine, a cure, deliverance, remedy.”}

    The milk of God’s Word is: Spirit, Life, and “Medicine to our whole body”. The milk of God’s Word is like antibody medicine that goes direct into our blood stream… direct into our WHOLE body (spirit, soul, and body) for healing.

    When you see the new calf take that first milk, your heart rejoices, “Let the flourishing begin!”
    Perhaps our guardian angels that watch over us give a round of high-fives and declare, “Let the flourishing begin!” when we take in the food of God’s Word we were designed for.

    …If we just had the wisdom of a calf!

    1. Robert, thanks for the powerful connections between milk and God’s Word.Life..health, medicine..remedy. All readily available for the taking. Reminds me of something that stuns me when I read His word. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS GOD. (Jn 1:1) I try to notice His presence in the barnyard, but when I read His words. There He is!

  4. p.s. Just wondering why the calf does not feed directly from the mother instead of a bottle?

  5. Good question Robert. Big Mama is destined to be a fruitful milk cow. During the next year, she will produce an average of 50-60 pounds of milk daily. This quantity will peak at over 100 pounds daily (stunning) for the first 3 months of her lactation.
    Blossom is destined to flourish in growth and maturity over the next 3 years without fruit (milk).
    Feeding her colostrum by bottle assures me she gets the quantity she needs. No guessing. I will divert Big Mama’s colostrum-containing milk for 3 days to feed specifically to Blossom. Then her milk is ready for the food chain.
    Also, if Blossom nurses Big Mama directly from her teat, she may reject the nipple on the bottle and not get her colostrum on subsequent feedings.
    Finally, in contrast to a Beef cattle operation which puts a premium on cow-calf bonding for roughly nine months before weaning, we dairymen take over the twice daily nursings, so weaning happens at birth.

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