Welcome to the Week 3 post on our 2019 Calving Season.
Please be sure to check out Week 1 and Week 2 of our 2019 Calving Season.
Week of Monday, May 13th – Sunday, May 19th
Monday, May 13th – Thursday, May 16th – Very quiet. No activity on the farm in terms of calves being born. Lots of calves playing in the field!
Friday, May 17th – While doing an afternoon check with my youngest son, baby calf #14 came into the world. Immediately upon going through the gate to the back pasture, I could see a mama cow in labor. This cow’s tail was lifted and bent in that tell-tell sign of labor.
I have seen many baby calves born over the the last five calving seasons and the awe and wonder has never wavered with each birth. Each birth and new life is just as exciting as the previous. This particular birth was extra special as my youngest son was able to witness it with me. I quietly explained to him what was happening and why. As we watched the mama cow push out the calf, he was so amazed! My camera died on me during the delivery but here are a few pictures of calf #14 being born.
Saturday, May 19th – I was doing a check before supper and as was the case the previous day, I immediately knew we had another calf coming. This mama cow was way across the field but I could see 20 cows, standing and grazing, and one cow laying on her side and I could see a speck of white by her tail. I excitedly walked across the field. I discovered that this cow was one of our first-calf heifers. We have four this year and one had already given birth. This heifer already had her calf’s hooves pushed out but seemed to be a bit stalled.
First-calf heifers often labor longer and this one was no exception. In the end, though, she was able to deliver a beautiful baby calf – all on her own. She worked HARD. Calf #15! All four of us were able to witness this birth – a first on the farm! Jer and I have only been together for births that required us to pull the calf! It will be a neat memory to look back on, all four of us silently cheering on our first-calf heifer and pumping our arms in the air when calf #15 finally made his/her appearance AND was healthy!
Sunday, May 19th – I had predicted the previous evening that one of our remaining mama cows would have a baby the next day, and I was proved correct during the morning check. Calf #16!
This calf was already walking around like a champ with his/her mama and nursing like a pro.
What a great start to our Sunday morning!
Our calving season is winding down. and we only have a few more calves left to be born. So far, we have not had to assist with any births. We believe that this is mainly due to our calving-ease bull. He had already proven himself to be a sire of primarily smaller calves, that are easy to deliver. Proof of his reputation as a calving-ease bull is currently in our back field, in the form of 16 beautiful baby calves!
On our farm, we want our baby calves to just slip-out, so to speak. As such, we cannot stress enough how important bull selection is to your operation. Selecting the right bull should be a top priority (and given very careful consideration to) when planning out your breeding season.
Be sure to check back next week for Observations from THE PASTURE – Week 4 – 2019 Calving Season.
Kathy D says
Thank you so much for providing this information and the photos – it is so helpful! Congratulations on all the new, healthy calves. You’re absolutely right – easy-calving is the way to go! We’ve got two calves so far and are waiting for one more.
Sara Wood says
Thanks so much, Kathy! We hope your last two calves come as easy as can be! Sara