CUTE PHOTOS! Dog bottle feeds abandoned calf at Derbyshire estate

A week ago, Penelope was born in a frozen lake and faced certain death.
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But after being rescued in the bucket of a digger she has now moved into a family’s pet-filled home and one of their labradors sleeps next to her and even helps out bottle-feeding the calf.

Heidi ‘HP’ who lives at the 100-acre Carnfield Hall estate, near Alfreton, with her vet partner Graham Oliver, and their boys, said: “On Saturday, Penelope was born in a lake. We couldn’t get her out as mum was being super protective.

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“The large animal rescue team had been dispatched from the local fire service, but whilst they were en-route, Graham and his son Tom worked to distract mum, and drag her from the water using the bucket on a JCB.

Algernon bottle-feeds six-day-old Penelope.
A week ago, Penelope was born in a frozen lake and faced certain death. But after being rescued in the bucket of a digger she has now moved into a family’s pet-filled home. One of their labradors sleeps next to her and even helps out bottle-feeding the calf.Algernon bottle-feeds six-day-old Penelope.
A week ago, Penelope was born in a frozen lake and faced certain death. But after being rescued in the bucket of a digger she has now moved into a family’s pet-filled home. One of their labradors sleeps next to her and even helps out bottle-feeding the calf.
Algernon bottle-feeds six-day-old Penelope. A week ago, Penelope was born in a frozen lake and faced certain death. But after being rescued in the bucket of a digger she has now moved into a family’s pet-filled home. One of their labradors sleeps next to her and even helps out bottle-feeding the calf.

“She was very poorly, and hypothermic.

“Tom carried her to the house to clean and warm her. We returned her to the field in the hope mum would not reject her.

“Mum not only rejected her, probably because we’d washed her scent off, but made a serious attempt in killing her.

"And she tried to attack us too when we tried to rescue Penelope for the second time. We used quad bikes to get in and out quickly and brought the calf to the Hall to be hand-reared.

Tom Oliver carries Penelope on his shoulders after rescuing her from a frozen lake.Tom Oliver carries Penelope on his shoulders after rescuing her from a frozen lake.
Tom Oliver carries Penelope on his shoulders after rescuing her from a frozen lake.
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“She refused to accept milk, so her first feed of colostrum was given via a stomach tube.

“The following day, she became weaker. A local farmer, helped us introduce Penelope to a temporary surrogate mother.

“Once she accepted the milk, we began combining the surrogate’s milk with formula, until Penelope was accepting a bottle. Our black Lab, Algernon, couldn’t help but get involved and likes to help out with the bottle-feeding. He even lets Penelope have his bed and sleeps next to her to protect her.

“She’s now settled really well at Carnfield. Georgia (Tom’s girlfriend) has assumed the role of mum and is managing amazingly!! Both our dogs and cats accepted her straight away and they all play together. Although toilet training a calf is a bit of a problem.

Carnfield HallCarnfield Hall
Carnfield Hall
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“I’m not sure what the plan is for the future - her horns will grow and she won’t be able to fit through the front doo r- so we need to start planning!

“We are thinking to integrate her with the llamas. Either way, she’s made friends with the children, the dogs, and with all of us.

“She’s a Covid baby. Super-special, a great survivor and we all love her to bits”

There are 27 highland cattle and a herd of Llama on the estate, which dates back to 1470. Kept as pets, the family call them ‘high maintenance lawnmowers’.

Algernon lets Penelope sleep in his bed.Algernon lets Penelope sleep in his bed.
Algernon lets Penelope sleep in his bed.
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Graham Oliver bought the property in 2011. The country house dates from the 15th and 16th centuries and stands in its ancient deer park and surrounding woods.

Now the original coach houses have been reunited with the Hall and the dreams to recreate the historic estate that was once the heart of Alfreton, are becoming more of a reality.

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