Calving Season is Here!

Around the country, and at my own operation, calving season is beginning!  Producers usually time-breed their animals so that they will all calve out within a two month period, reducing labor costs and ensuring a uniform calf crop!

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“Little Miss Sass”

 

 

Calving season means two things – lots of excitement and very little sleep!  When it comes down to the week that my cow is due, we watch her carefully for signs of calving – swishing tails, discomfort, mucus, and filling of her udder.  If we see all these signs, we know that she is close to having her calf and will probably calve out within 48 hours!  We get up every few hours every night to make sure she isn’t having any trouble if she does start.  Making sure our cows and calves are healthy and happy is top priority for all producers!

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A full Udder, Restlessness and Mucus around the tail are indicators a calf is coming soon!

 

After she calves, we separate our cow into a different pen to make sure she gets plenty to eat and her calf isn’t bullied by the other cows.  Not all operations do this, but because we are so small, it’s possible for us!  We check to make sure the calf is nursing, as it needs to receive all the “good stuff” such as immunoglobulins, and easily digestible nutrients contained in colostrum.  If the weather is bad, we will make sure that the calf is warm and mom and baby have shelter to stay out of the storm.  It is very important to make sure the cow has easy access to water, as she will be very thirsty and tired after the long process of calving.  The most important part though is to make sure everyone is doing okay and then to leave the cow alone.  We want her to bond with her baby and not cause her any stress.

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Our cow wanted to make sure the camera was safe to have around her calf!

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Receiving colostrum is important to the future growth potential and immune system of that calf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day, we eartag our calves for identification purposes and give them another once over to make sure they are still nursing and look healthy.  Calving season is one of my favorite times of the year!  Spending time with the babies (given that Momma is okay with this) is lots of fun, and for show cattle is an integral part of making them good show calves later on in life.

 

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Spending time with calves ensures they are used to humans and being handled

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Taking selfies with Ms. Elsie a.k.a. “The Princess of Everything”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Heart of Beef,

 

Alicia 

 

 

 

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