Way back in April we introduced Bubba to our eight Heifer calves, and I bet you all have been wondering just how long it takes from the big date until a cow has her calf, right? Well, the wait is over! How long is the gestation of a heifer/cow? 274 days, give or take.
I may be showing my age, but do you ever remember uttering the phrase, "Don't have a cow!" We used it in place of "Calm your silly self down!" If you disregarded this advice, then you had better grab a book or ten and get comfortable because you are in for a 274 day wait.
So what happens on the farm when we start a herd of cattle? It's pretty much like a human pregnancy in that there is a lot of waiting and uncertainty unless you go fancy and high tech. It does start with a visit to or in this case by the doctor to confirm that each heifer (These ladies have never had a calf, so they get to be called heifers until their first calving.) is pregnant with a viable calf. On July 6, we had a vet team from Purdue come out to the farm for a "preg check." Kind of like our first visit to the doctor to get the official ultra sound and particulars.
This team was an all-girl team, which I thought was very impressive!
PSA: Whenever you see a cow's ears go back like this, I pray there is a wall between you and it, or you had better find one fast and scramble over to the other side ASAP!
LOVE this sign! I'm quite certain that honked off heifers and protective mommas can do it in 8!
Sorry about the glare, but the vets and techs used an ultrasound machine to see the size and position of each calf in the womb. Look in the upper half of the screen to see it.
Now we cut to January 23....Cow #14 had to wait a a week past her due date predicted by the vet, to have our first calf! (Can this momma get a few sympathy votes for going a week past her due date?????)
While we didn't pass out cigars, this little dude's picture hit the social media waves and family text messages! Smokey is the first calf born on this farm in over ten years. Woo!
Now the watch is on for the rest of our new mommas to finish their journey. Baby Calf #2 joined us this morning.
We separate each calf and momma pair off from the rest of the heard for at least a day so they can have some bonding time and figure out the whole nursing thing without any distractions from the "Aunties in waiting."
Smokey is out and about now getting oodles of attention from his momma and the rest of those Aunties
Stay tuned for more pics from the nursery as our new calves make their arrivals. Any questions about these babies? Leave them in the comment section!