Yesterday, was a beautiful spring day here in Northern Indiana. A perfect day for calves to be born.
We had 2 heifers born yesterday and one bull calf born last week! A heifer is a female calf, who has not had a baby yet. Once a heifer has a calf, she is called a cow.
Here is our son, Will, greeting the bull calf that was born 3/25/16. Once a calf is born, we will band the bulls, so they become a steers, and tag their ears. We turn all our bull calves to steers because we purchase our breeding bulls from Wulf Cattle in Minnesota.
Proud papa. This is August, our Limousin Bull that we purchased from Wulf Cattle, March 2015. All our calves born this year, August will of sired. All of our cows are Angus cows, so the calves will be a breed called Lim-Flex (1/2 angus and 1/2 limousin).
Have you ever seen a fresh born calf?! This little heifer you see above is just minutes old. I was on my way to the grocery store yesterday afternoon when I decided to swing by and check our cows. We had already had one calf born that morning, so I wanted to be sure that calf was doing okay. I was just looking out over the pasture and noticed one of our other cows was trying to deliver-all you could see were a couple little black hooves!
After 30 minutes, the cow you see above wasn’t making much progress and I wasn’t sure how long she had been in labor before I had arrived. So my father in law, brother in law, and uncle arrived to help. We corralled her into the barn from the pasture. I had the kiddos with me and since we wanted her to stay calm & relaxed, I waited outside the barn with the kids.
So we practiced with my camera while we were waiting! It was so beautiful and sunny outside!
Will is on the phone with my farmer, who was not home while all the action was happening!
I could tell the cow wasn’t making good progress. We didn’t know how long the calf had been in the birth canal without moving, so we made the decision to help her. When the cow had a contraction, we pulled on the calves legs. Just a few steady pulls and the calf was out!
Within a few minutes of life on this side of the world, the calf is alert, trying to get up and should successfully nurse from its mom. A nursing calf is a great sign that it is strong and healthy. The momma cow does all the work to clean the calf off, you can see in the above pictures that the calf is still covered in the protective coating from being in the womb. The whole process is amazing and we are always thankful for healthy and safe deliveries.
After delivery, we usually separate the cow and calf so they can form a bond. This helps the mother instinct set in for the cow and aids in successful nursing
This is the other heifer that was born 3/29/16! She takes after her dad, August, in the color of her coat. I love a red cow!
That evening, after all the excitement of delivering 2 calves, we went back to the pasture to tag the heifers. Our junior herdsman wanted to help anyway he could.
Tagging calves is a 2 person job.
1 side down, 1 to go.
The white tag means she is a heifer & has her birthday on it. The letter B on the white tag is because we had 2 calves born on the same day.
The green tag means August is the dad, and the number 88 is his ear tag number.
The black heifer you see in the picture below, has a white tag 329A, since she was the second calf to be born on the same day.
Quick tagging and then back out to pasture for our newest arrival.
Cows & calves are all doing great, we went out this morning and walked the pasture to check on everyone. I think Will & our little steer have become friends.