It’s Calving Season!

Here on our dairy farm we have new baby calves all year long. If you’ve been following along with my blog for awhile you probably remember I post pictures of the calves in all seasons.

If not, let me show you…

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Calf coats in winter;

And sometimes coats in fall too!

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Whether it’s frosty winter mornings or hot summer afternoons, feeding and caring for calves and cows is a 365-day-a-year undertaking.

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But, just because we have calves all year doesn’t mean they are exactly evenly distributed.

Many factors can effect when and how many cows are pregnant and due to calve. Extremely hot and humid weather, like we had last July and early August, meant not many cows conceived in that time frame.

So… more cows than normal became pregnant in late summer and early fall. 9 months ago from right now. You know what that means?

Likely lots of new babies this Memorial Day weekend and about 80 due in June!

It can sometimes be overwhelming (and exhausting) when we have many more babies than normal to care for. Of course we have been busy getting extra things ready the last few weeks to prepare. I’m happy to say I think we’ve got plenty of empty and freshly washed hutches to make it through the holiday weekend.

Besides, when you see little faces like this it’s all worth it.

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These little ladies did have to share a hutch briefly last week while we were washing and moving more into the row. They didn’t seem to mind.

Hutches help keep each calf warm and dry, and the wire yard allows for outside access. We find it’s best to keep them in individual houses like this for the first few months so they don’t suck on each other or compete for feed.

If a calf does come down with an illness it’s also easier to keep the other calves from getting sick too.

I’m sure some of you have heard me talk about hutches before, but newer readers maybe have not. If you have any questions just ask.

Running Tales

In the midst of calves and farming I still hope to lace up my running shoes this weekend. I’m actually thinking of running a local 5K race tomorrow. Not that I’m in the best of racing shape, but I think this would be a good time to test my fitness.

We’ll see what the weather does. If it’s too nice I’ll probably stay home and work on our garden and then farm stuff. If the predicted rain comes, then I’ll race.

I would be nice to run tomorrow just to test things out. Then I’ll gear my training toward a 5K PR in the next few months.

I’m still thinking about that fall marathon too, but I haven’t decided yet. Once I do you’ll all be the first to know. I promise.

What are your plans this Memorial Day weekend?

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
This entry was posted in Baby Calf Care, Cows, Running and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to It’s Calving Season!

  1. Anna says:

    Only a runner…..if “the rain comes, I’ll race.”
    Normal people….”if the rain comes, I’ll stay indoors.”
    Ha! Rain never gets in the way of a good run! Good luck if you race!

    Love the farm pictures….sounds like you’ll have a busy few weeks ahead!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Anna. I ended up not racing, but then mid-morning it started raining enough that I got nothing done in the garden either. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy the weekend.

  2. Wow, that’s a lot of baby calves coming soon. But they are very cute.
    We’re talking about heading up camping tomorrow… we’ll see. I wouldn’t complain if we decided to take it easy and get stuff done around the house.

    • Lisa says:

      Sometimes it is SO nice just to stay home and catch up. I love the chance to get away (camping sounds fun!), but it’s hard when you feel behind. Hope you have a great weekend either way!

  3. Terzah says:

    That’s a lot of babies to look after, Lisa! They have such sweet faces. :^)

  4. Jess says:

    Oh how cool. For some reason I didn’t realize you guys calved all year round… but it certainly makes sense that you would! Adorable.

  5. Dana says:

    I want to work on the farm with all those babies! I can imagine it is quite hard work though ๐Ÿ™‚ I recently saw this article on Yahoo Finance and immediately thought of you: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/dairies-pamper-cows-massages-waterbeds-072211937.html

    Admit it…..Etta has a waterbed and daily massages ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Heidi Nicole says:

      Lisa…I’d be really interested to hear what your thinking was when it comes to waterbeds, classical music and chiros for cows. Just honest to goodness curiosity – its really interesting to hear what someone with a similar but oh so different background as me has to say about stuff like this!

      • Lisa says:

        Well, we usually have music in the milking parlor (not generally classical but sometimes it’s a “big band / polka” type sound ๐Ÿ™‚ )

        And we do have mats, but they’re just cushioned, not waterbeds. The cow chiropractic is a new concept to me though. Overall if things help cows be and feel more comfortable we’ll definitely check them out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks for posting Dana! I’m definitely going to ask our vet about this chiropractic/ massage stuff when I see him next. See my reply to Heidi too.

      Etta has no waterbed, but she is getting a bit more friendly so I can scratch her ears sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Heidi Nicole says:

    Seriously?! 80 new babies in June?! That is insane, I cannot imagine how much time you’ll have to spend bottle feeding…it makes me tired just thinking about it. I think I’ll go take a nap for you!

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