Hi guys! I’m finally back! I don’t have a scrumptious recipe for you today. All I have is two cute boys feeding two brand new baby calves. That’s pretty good right? Not everybody has that!
I can see our maternity pen from my kitchen window. Placing that pen was a bit of a compromise. I didn’t necessarily want to see that pen every time I looked out my window, but the farmer boy I live with did. So he got his pen and I got a wood fence to block the view a little bit. It’s not that I don’t’ want to see the mamma cows, or the calves. It the mess, that’s what I don’t want to look at. Anyway, Justin has a perfect view of the pen from his chair at the kitchen table. Grrr! That’s the other part of the compromise. The whole time we are eating he is engaged in what is happening in the pen. I have to ask, “Are you listening? Then what did I just say?” just to make sure he’s listening a little bit. I’m guessing you say that to your husband from time to time regardless of what he is occupied with. Even though it’s a bit messy, I will admit it is nice to be able to closely monitor the cows who are getting really close to having their babies.
A few Sundays ago I looked outside and saw this brand new baby calf. It must have only been about twenty minutes old. It was still wet behind the ears; that’s how we refer to a baby calf that hasn’t been born for very long. From my kitchen the baby looked like it was completely white. I love the completely white calves, especially if they stay clean. Did you know cows are a little like people? Some of them stay clean and some of them are always dirty? It’s true! I can’t help myself, I like the clean ones (people and cows)!
I couldn’t wait to get a closer look to see if the baby was really all white. Nope. I was wrong, it does have a few black spots but it’s still pretty cute. After lunch my boys headed out to take care of the new born babies before their piano recital. I’m never looking for jobs for the boys to do. I’ll tell you how the whole process goes, but please don’t be mad at me. We do take the babies away from their mom’s right after birth. Dairy cows aren’t very motherly and will even kick, or trample their baby occasionally. That’s one reason we step in and take care of the baby. We milk the mamma cow, get colostrum from her and then feed it to her baby. A calf is fed about a gallon of milk twice a day for about sixty to ninety days. They live in a hutch, or a little house, during that period of time. They are also fed water, hay, and grain. The calves get to know their feeder and are always anxious to get their next bottle! See, it’s not that much different than people! I promise, we do take good care of the babies, after all they are an important part of our livelihood!
Here are a few more tidbits for you.
We average about 6 calves being born per day, all year long. The females are called heifers and the males are called bulls. We sell the male calves. We keep and raise the females. The female calves eventually become mamma cows and are milked with the rest of our herd.
Baby calves can walk at birth and they have teeth at birth. They like to nap in the sun and they get really excited when they hear the four wheeler and wagon of milk coming.
My son had knee surgery and had to wear his brace constantly for about a month. I had to buy a separate brace for him to wear to bed. You can’t even imagine how dirty that thing got!