Cutie and either Kruger or Romeo, we're not sure which bull is the father, proudly announce the birth of their heifer at approximately 11:15 am Sunday, February 17, 2014.
Cutie is a red white-face Hereford/Angus/Simmental mix, the product of our only Hereford cow. In an operation where almost all of the calves are black or black white-face, a red white-face really stands out. Whenever I was in the pasture, I told the little calf she was such a cutie! The name stuck.
Cutie’s mother, Hereford (That’s what we call her—just “Hereford.”) has been a member of our herd for almost seven years. She produces and raises great calves, and has a gentle nature. Bill has kept four of her heifers to breed to continue the “good mother” genetics. Cutie is the only red white-face heifer from Hereford. Here's a picture taken last fall of Hereford and her calf:
For her first motherhood experience, Cutie lived up to her genetic heritage. However, the second year which was last year, she didn’t stay bred. Usually when this happens, the unbred heifer is taken to the sale barn and sold as “open.” But due to Cutie’s genetics and because she was one of our favorites, Bill decided to breed her to have a late winter/early spring calf. Also, there’s the dollar-and-cents side: She’s worth more now with a calf than she would have been as an open heifer last year. The gamble paid off.
As to the question of paternity: When Bill decided to keep Cutie and breed her, he took her to a pasture where he was keeping cows he’d just weaned calves from, plus the two bulls. Since all the cows were bred, the bulls weren’t getting any action. Cutie was given a warm welcome!
Pictured below are Kruger, on the left, and Romeo, on the right. The boys don't look their sleek and debonair best because they've been wallowing around in the mud created from the melt-down of 13 inches of snow!
The calf struggles to its feet for the first time. “Hey, I was perfectly happy swimming around in the nice, warm water. You pushed me out of Paradise and out onto the cold ground. Now you say I have to do what? What are legs? You say I have four?”
“A little shaky here, but I’m up!”
I didn’t get a shot of the first meal, but got this one the next day in the barn. Cutie and her calf spent the first couple of days there, with the calf basking in the warmth of a heat lamp.