Pretty excited about the new kid. She smells funny. 😉
…we’re back to dry meadows and snow covered hills.
Cow #10 had her calf a couple days after the storm last week so she timed the birth well, thankfully. They say we are in for another storm later today and tomorrow. We’ll see how many calves that brings us tonight.
Happy Tuesday, y’all! 🙂
I posted this today on my Facebook page.
The start to spring here has been wonderful. Temps have been in the 60’s and we’ve been soaking up the sunshine.
But with the warning of a major storm coming, I knew darn well that calves would start popping out. Sure enough, I got one yesterday and that makes 7 of the little boogers in all so far.
The clouds started building by mid-afternoon.
It was storming in the sky by late afternoon. Then it started raining here at about 10pm.
And this is how it looked at 7 this morning. I barely made it down to the meadow.
The wind is blowing out of the north which is of course the direction I had to drive to get down to the meadow. I was blinking snow drops all morning.
The Gray horse turned a muddy brown. I couldn’t even recognize our own horse! Of course, my eyelids were cupping snow flakes so it’s understandable.
It took me an hour to find the girls. Visibility was about ZERO but I saw finally saw them in the middle of the meadow with their butts facing north. Yep, that’s them in the upper left of the above image.
That’s #10 on the far left. She should calve at any time. I’m watching her closely today and I pray she keeps that baby inside just a little longer.
I’m headed out again. I hope I don’t have to bring a calf inside by the fire. But if would be okay if I did. 😉
Our first calf arrived on Friday and he was born to a first time mother. When Patrick saw the heifer in labor that morning, he got her into the barn for privacy and so that we could assist her if she needed it. She labored for about 3 hours until we saw hooves. We gave her 30 more minutes to have it on her own and sure enough, after a long and loud moo/grunt/squeal, he entered our world. I went in a checked on her and she was laying upright and very tired. The calf was alive and just laid there quietly. It was obvious that she didn’t know what happened or even saw that she had a calf. I gave her some water and left her alone to rest. About 10 minutes went by and she stood up. When she turned around and saw this little slimy bundle, she started humming loudly and was licking him like crazy. She was immediately in love and so energetic and exited. This excitement and mothering doesn’t always happen, especially with heifers. But this lady loves her baby and is taking such good care of him. We are happy and relieved that this was a calm and happy birth. We have a few more heifers to calve out and several cows to calve. We’re just getting started and I pray this will be a smooth calving season. And so it begins…
We are having a nice break from the winter madness. The mud is drying, the temperature is tolerable and the sunsets are becoming more and more colorful. I’m not fooled though. I know winter isn’t over, I’m just expressing my appreciation for this lull in the winter chill. The old gray horse seems to be enjoying it as well.
I’m gearing up for my daily visits down to the meadow to check the cattle. Calving season is upon us and it’s my duty to watch out for girls in the meadow as well as the heifers (first time mothers) in the corral close to the house. There is one heifer that is really close and we are checking on her round the clock in case she needs assistance. It’s such a tense time of year full of worry and hard work. I’m up for it though I’m impatiently waiting on the song of the meadowlark.
Have a great weekend, friends!
…I only have five more to go. Calving has been a bit challenging but overall we are well. Busy, but well. Happy and healthy. And sometimes on a sunny afternoon, we are very lazy.
Proud mommas keep their calves close.
When I ride through the meadow to check on everyone, the good mothers locate their babies for me.
And sweet kisses occur frequently.
Now don’t get too excited. There are days that don’t go as well as one would hope. Some of these cows seem to think that having their calf across the river is a good idea. Sure, she’s looking for privacy to give birth. But when she’s ready to join the herd, walking across the river isn’t as easy for her calf as she thinks. Like Patrick says, “they just want to baptize them right off the bat!”
I wait for P to get home from work so we can cross the river in the 4-wheeler to spook them out of the bluffs and catch the calf (by his tail). Then we load the little booger up and drive him back across with mom following us while breathing heavy and humming.
Then there are times when the cow crosses the river with her older calf and hides him in a canyon. So the big, bad coyote (Patrick) scares him up and out of there and we “encourage” them to cross back and join the herd.
I’m on the edge of my seat right about now.
I. hate. this. part.
Can I look now?
It’s so scary to watch them cross. Patrick is in the process of fencing off the river but that takes time and money, both of which are scarce around here. But we are hoping to have it done before next calving season.
The weather has been splendid and I have felt like I’ve been in a National Geographic documentary these past couple of weeks.
On that note, the turkey’s are back!
Hi everyone! I am back from a lovely two week trip back east visiting family and friends. I had a wonderful time but didn’t get to see half the people on my list. Ugh! Next time though…and I won’t let it go two years before my next visit.
Anyway, it’s nice to be home. The weather is magnificent and lucky number 13 debuted the first calf of the season just yesterday. It looks healthy and happy so later today I’ll get a closer look. Right now mom and baby are bonding.
Hope you are having a great start to your week. Cheers!
Not unlike most days lately, I spent most of my Saturday down with the cows. Normally it would be a quick trip down, count them, check the health of the calves, and head back to the house. But as I made my way down, I saw #25 across the river giving birth to her calf right along the riverbank. So, I found a comfy spot by a Cottonwood tree and snapped some shots of them.
I had to stay with them to make sure the calf didn’t tumble into the river. These little guys could drown in a mud puddle. I wasn’t going to go to them right away because they needed time to bond. The calf needed to get on his feet and suckle.
It did and I kept my distance. I always enjoy the opportunity to watch these tender moments.
The spot that I found had a good view of a second cow who I knew was calving.
#13 stimulated her calf to his feet and they bonded as well.
Slimy calf with milk on his lips. That’s what we like to see!
After a couple of hours or so of monitoring these 2 sets, Patrick and I brought #25 and her calf across the river safely to join the rest of the herd.
Momma loves baby.
These guys are keeping me busy! And I love it. 🙂
It was another snowy weekend but that didn’t stop birds from singing or calves from arriving.
Will it ever end?!? I guess I can be thankful it isn’t 26 below zero. The air doesn’t hurt my face like it did last month.
On this Tilda Tuesday, we have a very snowy Tuesday. Roads are closed and Patrick says they are a mess. So here I am as usual, home all day to watch over the girls and their babies. I just hope they don’t drop any new calves in this mess. Normally the mommas hide their babies and I have to look for them just to make sure all is well. But this morning they are all bunched together with babies in tow.
Such a cold walk across the meadow.
I don’t think this little one is thrilled with his first snow storm.
It should warm right up tomorrow and we’ll forget all about today. I hope.
What a relief! The snow started melting Monday afternoon and soaked right into the ground. We are grateful for the moisture and grateful that the weather warmed up for our first calf to be born. This little girl arrived yesterday afternoon. You know how you can’t watch a pot of water to boil? Well, after being home and checking on the ladies 4 or 5 times a day for the last couple of weeks, she decides to give birth while I make a quick run to town for a haircut. I came home and there she was, cow #2 came to a boil and popped out a healthy calf. While I was checking on these two, one of the heifers was ringing her tail. She had a belly ache and I knew it wouldn’t be long for her. She was simmering. Two hours later she had a successful birth, which is not always common for a first time mother cow. With the arrival of these two calves, I am able to breathe a sigh of relief. We have a week or two until the rest of our small herd starts calving. ♥
The heavy snow has melted and we have puddles all over the meadow. This morning I started my daily rounds of checking the ladies. They are in their last trimester and calves will start landing next month. We have two heifers (first time mothers) and I have to keep an even closer eye on them. The cattle are good about coming to me because they think I’m there to feed them. It gives me a good chance to count them, walk through them and just basically look them over. I can tell when they are close to calving just by looking at them as they walk away.
Once Patrick finishes the fence surrounding our house, we will bring them closer to the house so that I can check them easily. Plus, they tend to cross the river to have their calf and that becomes dangerous for the calf when she decides to cross the river back into the meadow to graze. Therefore, I like to keep them close.
This is our first year calving at our place and my first year of doing it mostly alone. Since Patrick has a day job, it’s up to me to monitor the process. I thankfully have a call list if I have problems and Patrick can’t get here. Time to break out the shoulder-high gloves and chains. (just kidding)
The pressure is on so wish me luck!
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.
This little boo entered our world early this morning; the first calf of the season from a small batch of new heifers. Not sure of the sex because mama is very protective. I had to leave them alone so they could bond. We’ll have a much smaller herd to calve out this year because of the drought. I will cherish each and every one and I look forward to the smile they will put on my face. I’m so crazy about the little ones!
Not really any choking going on, but plenty of roping.
Patrick had to put a little scare into this calf trying to get away from the herd. Even though momma is at the top of the hill and he’s taking him to her, his one track mind wants him to go back to the last place he sucked.
The last of the cows were trucked to the Laramie Plains this morning. It’s so dry here but there is plenty of grass and water up there so they will have a happy summer of grazing and lounging.
These past few months have been a lot of work for me and Patrick and I’ve been cowgirlin’ more than photographerin’ (I know that’s not a word but it feels like one today). We have a crew out from back east so I’ve been able to sit back a little more and document the action rather than be right in there with it. We’ve been herding cattle and chasing calves and we had a successful branding.
AND finally…drumroll please…..
…the last heifer to calve gave birth a week ago. Yes, our last calf of the bunch has finally arrived. Patrick says “she’s holding on to that calf like it’s money”. She was as big as a bus that last week and we are so grateful the calf came out okay. We’re done with calving for the year so maybe we’ll catch up on some sleep this summer. Ha! A girl can dream of zzz’s can’t she?
Even if it doesn’t turn out quite like you expected.
This loving mother cow gave birth to a calf that doesn’t look much like her. We’re thinking the neighbor lady must’ve had one of her bulls come onto our cow during breeding season last year. Doesn’t matter, true love knows no color.
This is a busy time of year for ranchers around these parts.
As I mentioned a few posts back, we had a new batch of heifers delivered to us on a beautiful Saturday morning. Some had calves already, some had yet to give birth. We got everyone re-tagged and branded and they have now all joined the rest of the herd.
When we are out checking for new calves, we look for peculiar behavior. Like being separated from the herd, staring you down, pawing at the dirt, or standing over a curled up ball of fuzz. As you see in the middle image above, something looks fishy. So we go over, tag it, vaccinate it, and make sure momma has let it suck.
When a mother has a baby that doesn’t survive birth, Patrick skins her deceased calf and creates a cape for a bum/bottle fed calf to wear so that she will accept this calf as her own. Once we put them both together we stand back and wait for her to hum to the calf. If she hums, that’s good. If she kicks it, that’s bad. In this case, momma wanted a baby so she loves this little one as her own. Fortunately we don’t have to do this too often.
The little ones and their mommas always try to get away from us when we drive through them to make sure everyone is doing good and is healthy. They’ll run in the brush or hide behind fallen trees and limbs.
And some just don’t care what you’re up to. This pair sat a chewed their cud when I drove past. The calf looks like she has stars above her eyes!
I love these sweet faces.
This week we’ve been pairing out to go to new pasture to get the calves ready for branding. This job requires cowboys and cowgirls on horseback to sort and match cows and calves together before walking them through the gate. It is tedious but very important because you don’t want them separated. Momma’s and babies will bawl all night if they are separated from each other. Not to mention it’s not good if baby doesn’t get to suckle.
We have a crew coming out in less than a month to help with gathering and branding. Then the cattle will be trucked out to the Laramie Plains to graze for the summer.
A few things…
We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground this morning. We’ve been desperate for moisture.
It’s busy ’round here. I’ve been more of a cowgirl than a photographer lately and I miss my camera.
I fixed that this morning ’cause I miss y’all.
I have some stories to share and hope to find time to write them. There is one in particular that had our family howling over Easter lunch. I’m not much of a writer and there aren’t too many pictures to go along with it but I’ll make it work somehow.
Our little Pinrow has a new cow mommy. Yay for him. Sad for me.
We had a new shipment of heifers and calves this weekend. You see, heifers (first time mothers) don’t really know how to be a mom so they’ll let any calf suck. There were times down in the corrals while we were sorting them, that a heifer had a calf on each side and one in the back suckling. “Nobody’s gonna go hungry in this herd!”, Patrick said. I stood there in shock. Bunch of hippies I say.
Mother cows that have done this a few times will kick and headbutt a calf if one other than hers tries to suck.
The gobblers are gobbling daily.
And strutting daily.
We wake up every morning to the song of the meadowlark.
I was finally able to capture the elusive Merganser Ducks in the pond this morning.
This couple is always around but so difficult to capture. I sneaked up on them this morning.
Geese honk constantly. It’s become annoying. At least they are photogenic.
I’m working on a project for a client where I’m adding color to black and white landscapes. I think it’s going to look good and I hope to share some of that with you when the job is completed.
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve had to pull about 4 calves out of mother cows because the calf was either backwards, too big or the cow was weak after pushing for too long. Eeeesh. Sometimes when I use the word “we” I tell you that I use it loosely. Usually “we” means Patrick but here lately, I’m in it up to my elbows.
I have good friends flying in tomorrow for a visit. I can’t wait. ♥
It’s hot and dry and we are in full calving mode.
The pregnant ladies enjoy cooling off in the pond.
The ladies that have calved are in the brush or in the willows, most likely to try to hide from us.
But we find them every time.
Once their calf has gotten up and sucked, we step in to vaccinate them and give them a shiny new earring with a number that matches mom’s. Once they’ve gotten up from that, mom hums and leads her calf away from us.
While we were tagging another calf, the cow in the distance in this image came running up thinking we had her calf. It wasn’t hers and she ran off from us in a panic. We found hers seconds later and Patrick bahhhed like a calf until she came over the hill.
It took her a minute but she soon realized we found her calf. She came over, claimed it and we tagged him and sent them on their merry way. I bet she’ll keep up with him after that episode.
Now this lady was scary. I mean flat out mad. So I stayed in the rhino.
She was so mad she would bellow and holler with her tongue hanging out and slobber flying everywhere.
Patrick had to swat at her with the plastic paddle. She was so mean and oh so mad. We barely got out of this one alive. Cows are mostly mellow creatures but once they have a calf, they can be dangerous.
Here are some peaceful and rather cute babies and mommies portraits.
I’m quite partial to the red and white spotted cuties.
This calf is one of my favorites.
I love this time of year.