Calving season is my busiest season of the year by far— AND my most-looked-forward-to season on the farm!!
The real moment of pride for me— the cherry on top, is when one of my bred heifers, who I raised, selected, hand fed, sent to pasture calves her first calf. It’s this surreal moment where I had a hand in each part of her life and a dream has been realized.. The cycle has come full circle… Because I sent her dam to be bred to a certain bull, fed her all winter, and calved out this tiny baby. I tagged that tiny baby, watched her grow, marked her progress. Brought her in and doctored her if she was sick, administered her necessary vaccines at branding time. Sent her to summer green pasture to spend sunny days alongside her dam. Brought her home in the fall, hand fed her grain all winter and watched her grow with her buddies. Evaluated her on temperament and conformation— where she earns her place in the replacement herd. Sent her to be bred to a special bull that summer, then hand feed grain through the late fall and winter until finally: she calves her first calf. It really is a process full of love and commitment to your animals that spans over many years. We have some cows in our herd who are 14+ years old, the ‘good ol girls’.
I always try to take photos of the first calf heifers every year. Mostly for my records, to have photos of each animal for reference. It’s been fun to take these photos annually and watch my personal skill as a photographer grow over the years. Not to mention these cows will never be as youthful and glowing as they are in their first season of production! The replacement heifers (this year we have 22) are always a very tight knit group: having been calves in the same year and raised together, they form a community and a bond that will follow them as they move into the main cow herd. Its interesting to see how they react when — gasp!!– one of their own has a baby!!!! They gather around, sniffing the new arrival. Cows are herd animals and it is so fun to see how they click together.
This red brockle faced calf was super photogenic.. He’s the star of this blog post! His antics just to get in front of the camera made me laugh so hard! The band of heifers welcomng the new baby.
Robin the cattle dog. She is the best!!
Our vets from VAHS out for a visit.
Our cat Kevin Bacon looking handsome as the devil himself!
Chow for now!