First Calf Of 2011

Friday morning as Harland was doing the chores, he noticed one of the cows was starting to have her calf out in the pasture. So he took her to the barn and put her in a pen with a deep layer of wheat straw. When he came back later, she had a newborn calf by her side. After work, I went out  to see him. He and his mom were getting some well deserved rest. I didn’t go in the pen with them as I didn’t want to disturb the cow too much. Mama cows are very protective of their newborn calves and don’t like us to get too close.

He’s was only about 7 hours old.

She got to her feet, and he did the same allowing me to get a good look at him. He’s a little on the small side, only about 70 pounds, but looks healthy. Harland brought his mom some hay and she began to eat. She talked to the calf in low quiet “MOOs” to reassure him. Cows start talking to their calves in the days leading up to their birth so that after they are born, they will recognize their mother’s voice.

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The cow wasn’t too keen on me being so close to her calf. In the video above, she lets me know by dropping her head and shaking it. That’s cow for, “Don’t even think about coming closer or I’ll run you into the ground.” I wouldn’t have dared to be that near to her if not for the gate between her and me.  And she probably would have charged me otherwise.

Yesterday, I went out to see them again. I found them outside the barn where the calf was curled up beside a haybale while the cow ate.

He got to his feet. It must feel good for a newborn calf to be able to stretch out his legs after being cramped up so long inside the cow.

His mama gave him an affectionate nuzzle.

He did a little exploring. All the sights, sounds, and smells around him….everything is new.

He kept one ear turned toward Mama at his right, listening should she call.

Look how clean and fluffy his fur is. His mama washes him over regularly from head to toe. This keeps his odor down protecting him from predator detection.

Isn’t that a sweet innocent face?

After exploring a little, he found his way back to mama to eat. She stood patiently while he nursed.

So that’s one calf down, and lots more to go. Our cows will be calving all next month and into April. Spring is on its way.

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——->  UP NEXT: Oatmeal and Molasses bread.

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Suzanne

Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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22 Responses

  1. Glenda says:

    Ah, I love babies! They all have that sweet look on their faces.

  2. Chefweezie says:

    What a handsome little fella! Seeing all the new calves come into the world is the thing I miss the most about living on the farm….I’ll just have to live vicariously through you for now.

    Thanks for posting this!

  3. Glyndalyn says:

    Very nice calf. Do you have cows who refuse to take their calf? Then you will have a wonderful baby. Bah 🙂 When my goats did not take their kids, they were soon sold. No matter their pedigree, we do not keep bad mothers.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Glyndalyn,
      Sometimes we do have cows that don’t accept their calves. Usually we pen them up together for a few days and that does the trick. We did have one heifer a few years ago that flat refused to be a mother. She kicked her calf, damaged the barn, and went after my hubby. So we fattened her up and she now resides in our deep freeze. 🙂

  4. Lynn says:

    …ahh! I don’t know if I could sell a cow I saw as a newborn. So cute!!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lynn,
      It was strange to sell last year’s calves a couple weeks ago remembering how we had seen them all as babies. But it’s a business in the end, and it’s all part of the deal.

  5. Dianna says:

    Aw — how sweet!
    Growing up across the road from a dairy barn, I can almost smell that stall!!

    Sweet pictures – thanks for sharing!

    Dianna

  6. Joani says:

    That is so precious. Will be excited to C more pictures of the little ones. Have a great day.

  7. Rosann says:

    Very nice post. Thanks so much for all the pictures and videos.

  8. Teresa says:

    Those calves are just so precious! I love the newborn babies. You’re pictures are great.

  9. Sally Bishop says:

    All I can think is . . . moo.

  10. Becky says:

    oh so adorable little calf. I loved all the little calves and sheep when we were on the farm. I fed bummer lambs, they were my babies and I got attached to a few of them. Sad, especially when they die because they were too weak or momma wouldn’t feed them, disown them. Interesting world, huh? Thanks for sharing!

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Becky,
      It is frustrating when mamas won’t take care of their babies. I know it’s natures way, but very hard to witness.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Brenda says:

    What a sweet baby. Momma can be proud…

  12. He’s gorgeous Suzanne. Congratulations!

    GREAT pictures. 🙂

  13. Oh my…how sweet! That would be so exciting to see a newborn calf. I would love that. His fur does look so soft and fluffy. I love your video and I love the low moo sounds. I like how the cow put her head down and shook it too. As I have said before, I love animal’s social behavior..it’s so interesting!

    • Suzanne says:

      Bonnie,
      I love animal behavior too. And I’ve learned a lot from Harland. He took one look at that video, and said, “that cow would like to run you into the dirt” Tee hee.

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