Marley Rose, also known as Mar Mar, is an incredibly sweet and affectionate female Holstein calf who was born on June 21st, 2020 and found her forever home here at Luvin Arms when she was just 7 weeks old.
Marley was rescued in June by Barn Sanctuary when they went to a dairy farm in Wisconsin to rescue another calf with mobility issues. Marley Rose and her twin brother were born that day and were extremely weak. Because of this, they were going to be discarded, so they asked Barn Sanctuary if they could take them in, and thankfully, they were rescued!
They immediately brought them to the vet where they got medical attention and were being cared for. Marley Rose was doing poorly at first, but soon recovered and has thankfully been doing well since. Unfortunately, her twin brother’s health was declining and, after spending weeks at the vet, he sadly didn’t make it.
When Marley first arrived at the sanctuary, we did our absolute best to make sure that she felt safe, cared for, and loved. For the first few weeks that she was here, she was in our quarantine barn and during that time, we made sure that she never feel alone. Whenever a new resident arrives at the sanctuary, we do a mandatory 30-day quarantine to make sure that new residents are healthy and are safe to be integrated with the rest of our residents. Being in quarantine can be uncomfortable and lonely at times. As a team, we strive to make the quarantine process for all of our incoming residents as inviting, comfortable, and as least stressful as possible.
While Marley was in quarantine, all of the staff here at Luvin Arms would alternate spending quality time with her, making sure that she got a lot of love, care, and affection. We even had a couple members of the team stay the night with her when she first arrived. Marley has such a big and loving heart and has luckily been able to move forward from her challenging upbringing and has welcomed her new life here at the sanctuary with joy and excitement.
Once her time in quarantine was up and she was cleared to be moved into the big barn, we got a stall ready for her that is right next to our sheep residents. We allowed her the time she needed to get acclimated to her new environment and to all of the new faces before introducing her to some of the residents. After a few weeks, we decided to try and open her up with the sheep, so that she could have some company and make some friends. The sheep were very unsure about her at first, but after opening them up together every day for a few weeks, the sheep started to trust her and invite her into the herd. She is now opened up with them every day for shared pasture time. Our younger sheep residents, Jared, Jaclyn, and Lexine all really enjoy Marley’s company. All of them have a great time together playing in the pasture and goofing around. Marley will even groom some of the sheep, and I have to say that it is one of the cutest things I’ve seen her do. Marley is having a really nice time with them, and we’re so happy that she has friends, but there are times when you can tell that she is wanting a closer connection with one of her own.
Marley is considered to be a freemartin, which occurs when a female calf is born as a twin with a male and becomes sterile as a result of exposure to masculinizing hormones produced by the male. Because of her condition, it is unclear as to whether she would go into heat or not. We originally wanted to integrate Marley with our big cow boys when she got big enough, but after receiving this information, talking with other sanctuaries, discussing it with our vet and as a team, we have decided to keep her separate from our big boys for the time being. We’re open to having them meet in the future, but Marley’s safety and wellbeing is our top priority. We want to give Marley the absolute best life possible, and after making the decision to keep her separate from our big boys, we all decided that Marley needed a friend.
We put our feelers out for a female calf in need of rescue and our prayers were answered when we got a call about a female calf who was also a freemartin. She was considered to be no use to the dairy farm that she was at, because she would never be able to reproduce. As soon as we got the call, we started making plans for her rescue. Not only is Samantha a female Holstien with the same condition as Marley, but she is also very close in age. Samantha was born on June 30th, 2020, which makes them a little less than a week apart.
Samantha (Sammy) is currently in quarantine until she receives her vaccines, and then she will be cleared to move up to the big barn and move in with Marley. Samantha is doing great. She is really learning to trust and has opened up so much compared to when she first arrived. Every now and again, you will hear Marley and Sammy mooing back in forth and talking to each other. They have also briefly met through the fence and were so happy to finally see each other after hearing each other moo for weeks. Our plan is to move Sammy into the big barn next week. We’re all so excited for Marley and Samantha to finally interact as well as become lifelong friends.
Just like how Tito was so young when he arrived at the sanctuary and grew up with human connection, trust, affection, and love, so will Marley. I truly think she is going to be a lap cow even when she’s full grown, as she already loves to snuggle with her human friends so much. Marley has always been extremely loving, affectionate, social, playful, and outgoing. She loves hanging out with her sheep friends; snuggling with her human friends; doing clicker play; romping around in the pasture; saying hi to her doggie friend, Buddha; and visiting with the cow boys through the fence. She is thriving here at the sanctuary and we really couldn’t be happier that she will, here very soon have a friend and sister to share her joy with.
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin