Uprooted Magnolia

Dropped on his Head

Posted in Calving, Nature, Photography by leahyetter on March 14, 2013

©Leah Yetter Photographer

This is the first of our cows to calve. The calf I showed you last month was born to a heifer (a first time mother cow).
Yesterday I got back from doing chores and could tell that this experienced cow-momma had a belly ache. She had separated herself from the herd and nested by the fence. She was up and down, ringing her tail, arching her back and pushing hard. This lasted for two solid hours. Poor lady. The whole time I kept my eye on her I was cheering her on quietly but thanking the heavens this wasn’t me. It was a struggle but she finally dropped him on his head, stimulated him with licks and when I left her, she was helping him get to his feet to suckle.
I love this time of year.

7 Responses

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  1. Larry Who said, on March 14, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Growing up on a farm with beef cows, I agree that this is a great time of the year.


  2. Gracie O said, on March 14, 2013 at 9:00 am

    I apologize if this story is too long but your photo reminded me of an experience my daughters and I shared. Our town has grown swiftly and at one time it was not uncommon to have a pasture next to a business. While we were parked at a new store, an obviously new mother cow had just given birth. She did not seem to know what to do with it. She did not leave it but was obviously stressed and anxious. There was an older cow with a calf following her slowly lumbering toward the new mother who was frantically looking all around as though searching for help. She must have “said” something to her as she passed, because the young mom licked her new born and clumsily got him to his feet. Everyone watching this drama in the parking lot applauded.


    • leahyetter said, on March 14, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Oh I LOVE this story! Thanks for sharing. Sometimes they don’t know what to do, especially first time mothers. They think it’s a dog or something. And sometimes they wait for the calf to give a sign of life before they start in on them. Some mothers LOVE their baby and some want to be far away from them. Just like humans. We had a heifer (a first time mother) reject her calf recently. Just didn’t want a thing to do with it. Then we had a calf up and die on a good heifer mom. So we drafted the unwanted calf to the new mom and all is well. I always feel bad for those good moms that lose their calf. You can see and feel their sadness. But it is always a delight to see their joy when the circumstances are good. And then, watch out! They turn into momma bears and don’t let you anywhere near them!
      Thanks again for sharing!


      • Lenore Diane said, on March 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

        It’s like an adoption in the animal world. Taking an unwanted calf and paring it up with a wanting Mama. Love it.


  3. sheila365 said, on March 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    How amazingly awesome


  4. ranu802 said, on March 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Your story about the cow makes me realize,they too need help like us,I hope it dealt with the birth after a while.


  5. Doris said, on March 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    A lovely shot and story. Having grown on up a dairy farm where it was normal to separate the calves from their mothers it always touches me to see a cow together with her calf.


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