Thursday, April 12, 2012

A calf is born

A new life.

A Wednesday night tradition of mine, since becoming a Milwaukee career girl, is visiting my extended family. A nice homecooked supper with the fam, playing with Maddie & Noah (ages 5 and 7) and ending with the sitcom Modern Family. Last night I had a special treat for the kids, a video of a calf being born. The only connection this cowgirl & cowboy have to farm-life, is when they visit my family's. Frequently I talk with them about how we take care of our cows, the calves being born and where food comes from, in hopes of bridging the gap. With calving season drawing to a close; I thought it'd be good to show them what I've been talking about these last few months.
After announcing what the video was Maddie asked (obviously still in Easter-mode), "Does it hatch from an egg?" Needless to say this was an eye-opener, but a good experience to see how a calf comes into the world.
Now picture a 5 and 7 year old on my lap and for the first time watching a cow calve.

When a cow is in labor it is also called calving. This video showed a perfect birth presentation, front feet first, followed by the head and as you saw the rest of the body. Like humans this doesn't always happen perfectly, that's when farmers and veterinarians come in to assist the cow with delivery. During calving season, farmers get up several times throughout the night to check on their cows. It's important that we're there to help (if needed). Once born, the newborn calf is being licked off by it's momma immediately. After only a few hours will the calf be up (standing with wobbly legs) and starting to nurse. As producers, we oversee that all this happens, for the health of the cow and calf.


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