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August 24th, 2009
04:35 PM ET

The Calf Chronicles: Goodbye, Norma Jean...

Photo by Deborah Feyerick
Photo by Deborah Feyerick

Her name is Norma Jean, and she had a pretty rough entry into the world. That much we knew. But there was so much more we WANTED to know about our new favorite bovine, so we wrangled some details from CNN correspondent/cow midwife Deb Feyerick.

She writes:

I snapped this picture four hours after the calf was born. We found her stuck in the mud, not too far from where we delivered her. The farmer pushed her up the hill a little and she settled in under these trees.

We called her Norma Jean in honor of Billy Crystal in "City Slickers", who names his cow Norman. She started out as Norma, but I spiced it up to give her little somethin' special.

Awwwwww! Too cute, right?

But wait:

Our farmer actually sold Norma Jean for about $75 to another farmer. She was half Holstein and half Jersey, making her smaller and reducing her milk production about 15-20% - 100 pounds a day compared to 120 pounds a day.

We believe Norma Jean is somewhere between Vermont & NY. 🙂

I don't know about you, but I kinda envisioned "our" calf living the life of a barnyard celebrity - maybe going on to star in one of those Happy California Cow ads. Blargh!


Filed under: BackStory • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Joe

    When are you guys at CNN going to get over your Bush bashing? Am I going to still be hearing about Bush in 2012? Get over it! Move on! Obama is the President now. How about some bashing on him. I just cant watch your program. Get a life, will ya?

    August 24, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  2. Abraham V. Thomas

    Protecting USA is a crime in your opinion? The terrorists wanted to destroy American interests. Where were you when terrorists attached the world Trade Centre? CIA effectively protected America from another attack. Are you not ashamed to publish such news on your news media?
    Or are you telling that we should have hugged the terrorists and asked them, do you have any plan to attack USA, if you have any please let us know about it so that we could give legal protection for you!

    August 24, 2009 at 7:25 pm |
  3. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Norma Jean huh that would be A.K.S. Marilon Monroe the song by Elton John for those of you that dont know what happens to cows {...}. well there made into happy meals at Mc Donalds

    August 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  4. Mary

    Why didn't you ask where the veterinarian was to help deliver this calf? Sadly, I watched as you yanked and pulled on this calf. Were you looking at the mother cow? She was in pain!! You {...} WILL DO ANYTHING FOR RATINGS. How sad all of you are!

    August 24, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  5. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Thats a cute little happy meal.

    August 25, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  6. Don D. Brock

    I am no veterinarian But I have cared for more than A hundred fouls that were born in the field no one helped these horses give birth they did not need help because they lived on a ranch that had room for them, They were excersized and got plenty of excersize. If a cow had problems giving birth its probably because it lived in a barn or a coral that did not allow for a lot of excersize.

    Don D. Brock

    August 25, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  7. Terry Stumpf

    I am commenting on the stories of New Orleans & hurricane Katrina! I lived in MS when the strom hit & for your information the strom "DID NOT HIT NEW ORLEANS' the eye was right over Waveland,MS! You did'nt see any one there killing each other because of what happened! I know for a fact that they pulled together as real neighbors & helped each other out. You didn't even see much of the Ms coast on the news at all! Even now you don't see them crying about what they lost, they are thankful for just being alive ! I feel for everyone who lost because of that strom, but move on & quit whining, help yourself ! Oh, by the way they knew those levies needed fixing several years before the storm hit , but didn't bother to fix them! Please get your facts striaght!

    August 25, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  8. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Cow's are not horses these are dairy cows they dont get much excercise they are domesticated milk machines relying soaly on humans to survive they are incapable of giving birth alone and if are not milked daily would proubly die.

    August 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  9. Betty Phillips

    All of you sick "McDonald Burger eaters" can you not think of anything to say but what you will eat????Please get a life and be sure you are well past a local McDonalds, you sound so sick in the head!! Betty

    August 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  10. Don D Brock

    I have cared for cows on my dads small ranch cows are just as able to give birth as horse's are if they are on a ranch that is actually big enough for them at 5 years old I would go into the field to get our milk cows.
    Cows on dairy farms nowadays are mistreated and are not given enough room to move around if they have a coral they are inch's deep in mud, I have seen your dairy farms and think you all should be arrested and lose your ranch's
    hey it's just business

    Don D Brock

    August 26, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  11. ed hyatt

    I like cows. There is something about them that makes them kind of goofy and huggable. The other comments made me laugh. Good luck Norma Jean.

    September 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm |