Calving

We are currently smack dab in the middle of calving our spring calvers. So much so, we had to pull two calves today and I’m going to be running an extra load of laundry tonight just for our extra icky, gooey clothes. Say an extra prayer for me that the stains all come out! Generally, I get pretty lucky and with the Scentsy laundry line and some vinegar, I can get the worst of stains out but if they don’t come out the first time they will probably always live on that pieces of clothing… I’m definitely not a very good laundry girl.

Cattle have a gestation period of 283 days and while it would make our job so much easier if they stuck to that date exactly, just like human babies sometimes they make their appearance early or late.

That’s 283 days of getting excited about what the new calf will be. Will it be a bull or a heifer? Will it look like it’s dam or more like the bull? Will it have any white on it? It’s also 283 days of worrying about the cow and the calf. Will the cow have trouble? Will something be wrong with the calf? What if it’s born during a storm?

We “nest” just like any expecting parent. We pack a bucket that is always ready incase we need to help a mother in need. Ours is filled with calving chains, chlorhexidine, gloves, lube, towels and a thermos that’s ready for some hot water! We move the expecting cows to a pasture that’s clean and easy to access for checking multiple times a day and is easy to gather out of so that we can assist if anything goes wrong.

We spend so much time checking the cows that we can tell when they are ready to calve and if we need to help them out. While we hope and pray for the best we are prepared for the worst.

This is definitely a stressful time but it is also so full of excitement and joy! Seeing the little babies running around with the zoomies, bucking and playing with one another is one of my favorite things! It’s a lot work to get a calf on the ground and a lot of thought goes into making the perfect matches to create the calf that when it finally hit’s the ground it’s a huge relief.

Send happy thoughts and prayers our way as we continue to calve. So far we have been able to avoid having any calves in the bad weather and while we have assisted some, most have been able to calve all by themselves. We would love to continue to dodge the storms and have even more successful unassisted births!

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