Each cute little baby calf is assigned a tag number at birth. I get to help with this process!
There is nothing quite as cute as a newborn baby calf! Calves walk right after birth although they are still pretty wobbly for a minute or two. Cows have very strong mothering instincts and clean their babies off minutes after birth.
Each baby calf is assigned an identification number at birth. In addition to their assigned identification number, I used to name our baby calves when I registered them with the Holstein Association. After naming about 500 baby calves I gave up on that idea and we went back to using a four digit number.
The number is written on a tag that is attached to the calf’s ear. The calf wears this tag the entire time they are on our farm. We use that number to track their health records, pregnancies, progeny and other important data.
Writing on the four digit number on the front and the back of the tag is one of my jobs. That’s what I get for having neat handwriting and for being able to count!
I set up a big table in my basement, load the fireplace with wood and start writing on tags. They dry really fast in my basement, maybe because it’s about 80 degrees down there! While I write on baby calf tags I catch up on all the latest episodes of Pioneer Women. It’s a tough job, but it’s important. And somebody has to do it!
I think we have about a thousand baby calves born each year. I’m guessing I’ll be employed for a long time!