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Pretty Fresh

May 27, 2014

Late spring calving on clean, fresh grass…it doesn’t get much better than this.  Seasonality is so important, and with year round food in the stores and human babies being born in hospitals, we forget what Mother Nature does best.  Cows on a fresh, cleansing diet of forages, exercise, and sunshine make for good calving conditions.  Calves are born with no immunity and take in good and bad bacteria from their surroundings through their umbilical, noses, and hooves, it just makes sense to make it easy on them and us and plan for calves to be born during the best weather, instead of during the winter inside a barn.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, especially on a dairy that needs a year round supply of milk.  But with beef cows it makes no sense unless you are chasing a commodity market for your calves and you have undying need for drama in your life.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. goingplacesbr permalink
    May 27, 2014 11:06 am

    Love that closeup of lunchtime!

  2. Chris permalink
    May 27, 2014 11:56 am


  3. May 27, 2014 12:34 pm

    Yep – I’ve never seen a funnier sight than when we let momma and calf out into the field for the first time. The two of them were racing around and doing 360’s like crazy. 🙂
    They are both absolutely thriving. This year we will AI in August – like you I have no interest in a winter calf. Most beef ranchers up here plan for February calving – I guess they’re willing to accept the work and the losses that come with that schedule. I’m glad were not on that program.

  4. Allisa permalink
    May 27, 2014 3:59 pm

    What a sweet baby!! Thank you for sharing.

  5. May 27, 2014 5:10 pm

    Udderly sweet!!! 😀

  6. May 27, 2014 7:13 pm


  7. Elizabeth permalink
    May 27, 2014 8:59 pm

    Boy or girl?

  8. May 27, 2014 10:18 pm

    I thought of the name ‘Bullseye’ when I saw her face, but since since the calf is not a bull, I guess it name doesn’t quite fit:)

    • May 27, 2014 10:18 pm

      ‘the’ name

    • May 28, 2014 5:40 am

      I saw a calf’s name the other day that cracked me up – Ed A. Bull. I grew up with steer names like Veal Cutlets, etc. I’ll wait to see what she’s like before she gets a name.

  9. CassieOz permalink
    May 28, 2014 3:57 am

    Such a wonderful sight. When is Jane due?

    • May 28, 2014 5:40 am

      End of July 😦

      • CassieOz permalink
        May 28, 2014 2:45 pm

        Long time to wait. Did you dry her up so far ahead for a reason?

        • May 28, 2014 3:28 pm

          Cassie, she’s a pretty persistent producer and when her milk output started going up with the grass greenup, I decided to dry her off before it got so lush and she was producing even more. She’s picked up very well, now to keep her at an acceptable condition until calving…pictures coming soon. My bad for not getting her bred sooner, I lost 8 weeks on that 😦

  10. Barb in CA permalink
    May 28, 2014 5:55 am

    You have the best job in the world.

  11. Bee permalink
    May 28, 2014 6:21 am

    Yes, new babies make for a fun life! The other thing about breeding in August/September for a late spring calf is that we pretty much have the pick of the Rent-A-Bulls because everyone else is into winter calving. be

    • May 28, 2014 6:57 am

      Exactly. A few weeks ago I read this blog and the folks were so excited to be getting a bull at the end of April…hmmm, count 3 months back and you’re having calves in late January, some of our worst weather here, and the furthest time from any real quality green for the poor mama. Oh yeah, and no barn either. Not fun for anyone.

      • May 28, 2014 7:03 am

        I have similar thoughts. We have added four calves in the last two weeks, all in warm weather and tall grass. Everybody is doing well.

        We brought the bull in on July 27th last year. If anything I’m thinking of pushing him off another week or two as we pushed the early grass here.

        • May 28, 2014 7:55 am

          We went with August 5th last year, I wanted the next week, but didn’t feel like arguing…anyway, the first two cows I knew date of serviced have calved right on schedule, then it went downhill from there. I’m thinking one more and then a gap until the second bull’s go at it.

          I know lots of people love those winter calves, but it just makes something so simple and elegant a potential disaster. Keeping calves by the woodstove is for the birds. Been there, done that. No fun.

        • May 28, 2014 8:12 am

          Oh, it’s some fun. Just to get the calf dried off, warmed up and full of warm colostrum. Then you get the fun of teaching the calf to nurse mommy instead of the danged bottle.

  12. CassieOz permalink
    May 28, 2014 2:47 pm

    Later calves sometimes mean that, come saleyard time, you’re selling in a lull in the market and prices are pretty good. It works for us.

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