|Chris is drying the calf off and working to make sure that the|
calf's airways are clear of mucus to help ensure that she
can breath freely
Its calving time!!!
On New Year's Eve, we helped welcome our first heifer (in cow speak, that means "female") calf of the season. I LOVE this time of year.. There's nothing like walking down to the barn just in time to towel off a slimy wet, brand spankin' new calf. So far in this calving season, we have had one of each: one heifer and one bull. We've got around 40-some-odd more to go and they will be arriving anytime, now on through May with possibly a couple summer stragglers coming later.
The gist of it is:
Chris, his dad and I check on the cows that are due to calve soon a few times daily/nightly (this may include rousing from our toasty bed to make frigid 3am treks out to the barn/cornstalks) to see if they are showing any signs of onset labor. If they are, then we move them down to barn into a calving pen. Once inside the barn, we will go about our business while sporadically checking on the cow/s in the barn.
|Me patiently waiting to assist the mama cow in case there were any issues|
If the "water bag" has descended, we bide our time waiting for the baby calf's hooves to emerge. We stand by and let the cow push and only assist if there are any issues (such as breech or abnormal presentation) or if the cow is getting tired out from pushing for too long. In that case we will grab a hold of the calf's feet and pull with all our mite strategically when the cow pushes. And, viola! We usually have a happy healthy mama and brand new calf. Since we raise purebred Herefords, each animal gets to registered and has pedigree papers. Because of this, they get to have unique names (fun for me!). I get to name all the little cuties! I bestowed upon this little darling the name "Mollie".
I'm sure this blog will be peppered with pint size cuties throughout the rest of winter and on into Spring :)
|Mama cow licking the newborn calf clean. The mucus on the calf has|
beneficial pain-relieving properties for the cow. Licking the new calf
helps promote better blood circulation, as well