Sunday, March 8, 2009

Are You Calving Yet?

Are you calving yet? You have anything on the ground? If you are not from here, these might seem like pretty personal, if not downright rude, questions from a neighbor. But come March, all the world is abuzz with the prospect of calving or lambing season. It signifies the beginning of spring and perhaps more notably, the beginning of our busy half of the year.

We have already started with the evening patrols of the herd since the cows tend to get in the most trouble giving birth in the wee hours of the night. We inspect their bags, looking for signs of the milk coming in and watch for the telltale twitching of the tail and any animals that might be off feed or wandering the fence. Danish Cowboy also has a method of looking at their nether regions and determining whether or not they are "springing." I still have not perfected this method, finding it rather distasteful, and therefore prefer the much more scientific "she looks pretty uncomfortable and from personal experience this usually leads to a baby (or two in my case). I think she'll calve soon."

The herd is still out in the larger pasture where they have many acres to roam. Within the next week or two as babies start to show their faces, we will move them into a smaller pasture where it is easier to keep an eye on them and lend assistance if need be. We call this pasture, oddly enough, the "calving pasture." Very creative, I know.

So stay tuned. I am excited down to my tippy toes to share pictures of newly born calves with you. It's like this every year. The miracle of life begins right here, many times over, every spring. It is hands down the best time of the year.

In an unrelated note, I just returned from our local credit union's annual meeting. Free food, door prizes, interesting giveaways! What more could you ask for on a cold Sunday evening? As is quite common around here, people wear many different hats to keep the community going. The board members run their own businesses and might sit on several different committees of organizations around town. The sheriff, who also happens to sell agricultural pesticides, also did a marvelous job of playing the piano for entertainment at our meeting. A piano playing sheriff. I love small town life!

1 comment:

  1. I'm still reading every one of your beautiful and informative posts, though I've been squeezing them in between other computer jobs, and as a result, haven't taken the time to comment. What better reason to comment, though, then the arrival of new little ones, whatever the species?

    I'm sure you'll be filling us all in as the arrivals begin, but I'm already so curious. How many do you expect in one season? How much care do they require from you? And, as a nursing mother myself, I'd love to know more about how long the calves nurse and whether they wean themselves or you wean them. Oh, you have so much to teach us! :)