First Calf

First calf of the season…1 day old bull calf sired by Monty the bull who was born an raised here, with mum who is our smallest cow. She was a bit twitchy so it was difficult getting a photo. You have to be careful for a couple of days after a cow has given birth, even with the quietest of cows. The birthing hormones and having a new calf can make them unsettled and protective. That usually settles down after a day or two and they return to being docile again. We once had a cow who would chase you all over the paddock roaring and foaming at the mouth. I’m sure that if she had ever caught me, I would have been history. By day three she was always good again.

Another cow here has had twins and they too look pretty good.

A young Monty when he was mothering Isobel the orphan calf I raised by bottle. He’d stand at the gate to the house yard while I fed her. When she was finished, I’d put her back in with him and he’d stand and let her suckle his tiny male teats for comfort, licking and grooming her like a mother cow does after a feed. I really need to take a recent picture of him, he’s developed into quite an impressive looking bull. He’s such a lovely natured boy and temperament is very important.

I rode up on the quad bike and sat next to this calf when mum was off grazing, then both the twins and introduced myself and gave them all a pat. All were as calm as calm and didn’t care less about me which is an excellent start. I had to pick up one of the twins and carry it across my lap on the quad bike back to mum. She had gone into another paddock with the other twin and I didn’t want her to forget about it. The other one was already drinking but she allowed the second one to latch on the other side once I’d managed to put it on the ground in front of her. She’s mothering both calves so that’s great. Sometimes they can reject one which can be a big problem. The little bugger didn’t struggle once on the bike, I think it was enjoying the ride. It had its head up and was checking out the scenery as we wove through the long grass and tussocks out of the gully where it was hiding. I had to do the same again that night. The second time was the same. When your newborn calves are placid, it makes farming a lot easier in situations like this.

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