Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Better Than Christmas

Calving season is my favorite time of year.  Christmas in April.  The presents come wrapped in all kinds of colors, styles and with cute faces attached.    3 more beautiful " gifts" arrived today.

This calf has some unusual appaloosa type spots on his legs, ears and face.   Haven't seen those kind of markings before in this herd.

My favorite cow, Wanda, had a stunning 90 lb heifer calf.    It was love at first sight for me.  I might have to keep this one.

My big cow, Gracie, had a 110 lb bouncing baby boy.  I had a tough time wrestling with him to give him some earings and his special green band....  Last year Gracie had a 120 lb boy and I almost got a hernia wrestling with him.

It has been sunny and cool for 2 days and the mud is slowly drying out.   The soft breeze and temps in the 40's make it perfect for calving. No ice, no bugs, no snow, no rain.   The calves are born quickly and dry off in 10 minutes and are nursing within 15 minutes.   It is very amazing to watch.  Made me very thirsty watching and listening to all the calves getting their free milk on tap.

The cooler temperatures are still making the cows keep their winter coats on and some have shed out very little.
Everyone in this state still thinks we are going to get a hard frost or worse yet, one more snowstorm. The fruit growers are all worried because the buds have opened on all the apple, peach, cherry and pear trees as well as all the berry bushes. A frost could bring financial ruin to all the fruit farmers in the state, as well as all of New England.     Even the cows won't start shedding their winter coats, so I have held off planting my vegetables.

This is Raychel Ray and her calf that was born 4/14 while I was looking at flat land and rockless fields in Indiana.  Note her very fuzzy winter coat.

This is the oldest cow in the herd, Big Red 75. She had a beautiful heifer calf early yesterday morning.   I put her green earings in about 8 minutes after she was born.  Most of these calves are running within an hour, so it is imperative for me to tag and band calves as soon as they are born or I won't be able to catch them later on in the day.  Mud helps to slow them down a bit, but it also slows me down as well. 

Here is that appaloosa spotted calf, about 6 minutes after he was born he was up and nursing.

Here is that 110 lb calf making his first attempt at getting up and heading for milk. Notice those rear rump muscles on that big calf..

As the sun was setting I checked all the cows and calves one more time to make sure all had nursed and that all the afterbirth was eaten by the cows to prevent coyotes and foxes from coming into the field to get it.

Its great to look in all directions and see calves and moms chewing their cud and nursing their healthy calves.

 Today has been a great day here at TailGait farm.


  1. Love this post! Love the calves and 'getting dinner'.

    I agree, calving season is better than Christmas!


  2. Sounds like you've been busy! Wish we could just get close to our babies when they're born. Mommas aren't so nice 'round here. But of course, our herd is bred to be a little more "hot". Your babies sure are cute!

  3. What breed of cattle is it? and is the black and the red cattle of the same breeds?