Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Farm Fun- Fall Calving

Fall is not only my favorite time of the year because of the colorful foliage and crisp air, but because it's when we calve. We had it in our minds the calves would start coming October 1st. You should have witnessed our surprise when we arrived home from haying in Princeton and found six calves cavorting around in the field. Hubby rechecked his records and deduced we did indeed put the bulls in with the cows December 1 of last year so nine months is September.

A couple of the calves, the first born, were a little harder to catch to vaccinate, ear tag, and band. Especially the calf belonging to a red Angus cow. Every time the cow sees us, she heads for the trees, and using the trees as cover sneaks around us to keep her calf hidden. We have to match wits with her to figure out how to get in front and behind her. But we managed to catch her calf.

Guard cow Cori on the chase
We have a young man who is staying in a camp trailer on our place and he helped catch the calves. It was his first experience doing it and having a mother cow breathing, literally, down his neck as he held a calf. We're used to it and know that if you ignore the cow and not try to wave it away or bop it, she'll just breath on you, but if you show any aggression she'll try to butt you with her head. This group of calves are also more vocal when we grab them which gets the mothers riled up big time! If a calf doesn't bawl then the cow stays calmer.

Guard cow Cori being vigilant
To add to the chaos we stir up when trying to catch the calves, Cori, the Corriente cow my hubby purchased in the spring, has relegated herself to herd protector. She runs around bawling and chasing anything four-legged other than a cow. She kept Boots, the border collie, out of the field the whole time we were chasing down calves and tagging them.

Herfy and Myrtle
Thursday morning when I did my usual early morning walk through the herd looking for newborns, I had a fun time watching Herfy and Myrtle. They made such a cute couple walking side by side all around the field. I think it's real love! Herfy is the little Hereford bull we purchased this summer and Myrtle was the young cow hubby purchased and we had to watch to make sure she didn't have any complications when she had her calf .

We've had most of our cows long enough we know which ones have problems, which ones to be wary of when they have a new calf, and which ones could care less if you touch their calf. That's the fun part of having a herd, you get to see the different traits in them and enjoy their quirks.


Judith Ashley said...

Guess a herd of cows is just like any group - lol

Paty Jager said...

LOL, True Judith. There is always someone to protect the innocent and those who fall in love.

Sarah Raplee said...

fun post! I'd love to see this some day!

Paty Jager said...

Sarah, all you have to do is stop in when you come visit Diana! Bring her along and we can walk the farm.