In order to artificially inseminate these heifers, we synchronized their estrus cycles, which basically means that they all end up with the same due date. That translates to a fast and furious calving season for these heifers (and the cowboys!).
It has been cold the past few days, so it’s important that we make sure each calf is up and moving around. It’s easy for them to curl up and try to stay warm when the temperature drops. But they really need to be moving around and nursing their mama.
As we drive around the field checking for heifers that look like they are going to calve in the next few hours, we also help each calf get up and guide them toward their mama cow.
As soon as that calf is up, the heifer comes running to check on her baby. A good sign indeed. Love to see that mothering instinct in these heifers!
Each new calf receives an ear tag with the same number as it’s mama. We also write down (on the tag and in our record system) whether the calf had trouble in delivery or if it was a twin. Keeping this information helps us track which bulls performed well with our genetic program and allows us to make informed decisions when it comes to buying bulls or semen in the future.
This little guy was just a few hours old and still in the barn. His mama was quite opposed to an ear tag in her calf. She did a little snorting and blowing, but finally gave her consent…right after my husband told her to “Stay!” in his best dog-training voice.
I laughed, the kids giggled and the dogs ran in circles while wagging their tails.