Current Baby Calf Count: 49
Here are a few of our first-calf heifers and their calves, relaxing and taking naps. Eight of ten have calved.
All baby calves are cute, but I am particularly fond of the little white-face calves. Their little faces are so snowy white compared to the adults, and will never be this white again!
This tagging process pictured below went very smoothly. Mama #202-3 was off to the side eating grain Bill poured on the ground as a distraction so he could tag her calf. The calf didn't struggle or bawl for its mother to come to the rescue. I was able to get close for the photo without upsetting the pair.
One of our favorite cows, Proud Mary, of “Boomer Sooner Bovine” fame (or infamy), had a nice heifer this year. A week and a half later, her daughter, Creedence, also had a heifer. I’ve used up all the distinctive female and male names I could think of related to the group “Creedence Clearwater Revival”—Creedence and Fogarty—plus Ike and Tina (Turner) who also performed the song “Proud Mary.” I researched songs recorded by CCR and found “Suzy Q” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” (didn’t know CCR recorded that one). Problem solved: Say “hello” to Miss Molly and Suzy Q!
Calf #261 has a white spot on its side, another on its forehead, white hair on its belly and four white socks. We might name her “Spot.”
Our Charolais-mix cow, Sweet Pea, gave birth to a little mini-Pea this year although it’s not a heifer, it’s a bull, but a big one! Sweet Pea, a veterinarian and I shared a major adventure a year ago when her calf presented backwards. I blogged about it in “Trooper, the Holstein Adoptee—Part 2.” This year’s birth was uneventful. Bill and the pasture land-owner named this calf “Snowball.”
After I snapped the pictures of Sweet Pea and Snowball, we checked on another cow in the same pasture due to give birth any time. We found #207 and her new heifer, who inherited the black curly hair of her father, our bull, Romeo.
One of my favorite activities with calves is to sit very still on the ground and see if they will approach me. Some will; others are too skittish and won’t. Those who do are usually still a little hesitant and it may take a while for them venture close enough to take a sniff. As I was waiting on the calves, I felt a larger presence behind me. First Calf Heifer #76-1 sniffed and nudged me, begging for range cubes. I felt her licking the side of my head so just aimed the camera and shot four pictures. This was the only decent photo of either of us!
Miss Molly and Sox…the future of the Hilbert Herd?