Uprooted Magnolia


Posted in Calving, Love, Photography, Ranching by leahyetter on March 17, 2011

I can sense the curiosity in the comments yesterday about the mother cow humming to her calf .
Allow me to explain.

To get the calf to recognize her as it’s mother, she will hum. The hum is a low pitch, closed mouth mooooooo, obviously. Then, when they are all mixed up in the herd together, mom can hum and the calf can find her quickly. It is also a way to comfort the calf if frightened by us humans.
I remember one very snowy day last year a calf got herself turned around in an offshoot of a corral and couldn’t find her way out. The mother was already out and was humming to get the calf’s attention.  The snow was so high, up to my knees, and the calf started to panic. Patrick instructed me to go in there and hum to her. I did, and the calf turned around. I continued to hum as I led her out to her mother into the corral. I mentioned that here.

I love hearing the hum, it means she’s a good mom and loves her calf.


11 Responses

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  1. melissakoski said, on March 17, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I’ve absolutely loved learning about cows humming! Do some cows not bond with their calf? Calving is coinciding with spring weather in MI. (: Cheers to busy spring!

    p.s. I’ve been driving every one I love absolutely batty singing (and humming!) “Morning has broken” over and over and the past few days.


    • leahyetter said, on March 17, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Me too! After that sunrise on Monday morning, I haven’t stopped singing that song.
      Yes, some cows do not bond with their calf. In fact, just yesterday a cow jumped the fence and had her calf near the river. She just left it there after it sucked and jumped back over and started grazing. Patrick had to go get the calf and get it back across into the pasture. She was caring for it but left it in a dangerous spot because the river is rising. Sheesh. She’s on the right side of the fence today but we are keeping a close eye on her.


  2. Stephanie said, on March 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    I just love the story about you humming to the calf. You are the best and sweetest Leah!!


  3. wherewander said, on March 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    it´s really sweet! and I guess that it must have been wonderful and magic for you to lead her way to her mama!!!
    BTW, love the picture, did I say that already?


    • leahyetter said, on March 17, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, I was almost as panicky as the calf but we all made it out okay.


  4. Jim said, on March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Some folks call it lowing. Good Capture like the B&W.


    • leahyetter said, on March 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks Jim! I learned something new. Never knew it was also called lowing.


  5. Up and Down « Uprooted Magnolia said, on March 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    […] the first heifer is struggling. She unfortunately is not able to mother her calf. She loves him, she hums to him, but her milk has blood in every quarter and it is making him very sick. So two nights ago we took […]


  6. Booksphotographsandartwork said, on March 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    That is so sweet, I had no idea they did this.


    • leahyetter said, on March 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Humming is how they call out for their baby to get them follow her, to find their baby, etc. So not I’m having to hum to this little bum calf we have right now. It’s really neat, he follows me around and goes through all the gates. He’s cute but such a handful!


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