Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baby Calves

The heifers are nearly done calving, and it won't be long until the cute little baby calves are turning into teenagers. I'm a sucker for the baby calves, so I have lots of pictures of them! Here's number 77. Each calf gets the same number as his or her mama, so when they're being moved from pasture to pasture it's easier to keep track of them. Although the older range cows are often better at pairing up, heifers can easily get confused and lose track of their little ones. (Perhaps that same phenomenon applies to humans and is why Desert Boy made it to the post office five minutes ahead of me yesterday.)

And there are quite a few little ones. Unlike some earlier photos where they were chasing each other around, on this day they seemed to be resting. I must have missed the play session.

The additional hay is to help keep the calves warmer and drier, because when they are first born they are all wet. When a stiff wind is blowing on a cold night, it doesn't take long for a calf to get chilled. 

Here's a wet calf--it is only a few hours old. It still looks so unsure of the world and is sticking close to mom.

Mom eats on. The calf looks slightly less worried.

Mom is keeping a close eye on me. Never get between a cow and her calf--that's a good way to get trampled by a 1,000 pound beast. Yet the cow is very gentle with her brand new calf. And this calf is still getting accustomed to an entirely different environment. Do you see the umbilical cord hanging down from the calf?

The calf is starting to explore a little more. And mom is still eating. Do you wonder what she's so intent on eating? There's no green hay in sight.

She's eating the placenta. It's full of nutrients and apparently she wants them. If she doesn't eat the placenta, there are plenty of other animals that will: eagles, coyotes, ravens, and dogs. 

If you're groaning, keep in mind this is a nature blog. I'm just showing it how it is!


The Incredible Woody said...

There is nothing sweeter than a newborn!!

Anonymous said...

Want a good recipe for placenta stew?

Happy Heifer said...

I just found your blog and really enjoy it. I am an adventurer, explorer, nature loving ranchers wife. We currently live on a large cow/calf in Mo. the ranch calves out about 7,000 head my husband is a herdsman so he has his "own" herd wich is around 800 head. We are in the process of taking a job in western new mexico my husband will be manager of 300,000 acre cow/calf. Its not officail yet so we really don't know if we will take the job but, would really enjoy it I could explore for days!!
I will enjoy reading this blog so I can find out more info on desserts! Megan

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