Friday, April 1, 2011

Horn Snow or Calf Snow ?

It was the silence that woke me up early this morning.

When it snows, the world outside becomes very quiet.

It was snowing the small flakes that come down quickly.   The kind you like to get on your face as you look up to the sky.

This predicted Nor'Easter was turning out to be a wimpy storm with no punch.    But it could change at any minute.

I dressed quickly and headed to the farm to check on the cows.

As I rounded the turn I saw one old cow way out in the field staring in disbelief at the additional white stuff that was covering up the smell of grass.  She was pawing at the ground to find the brown stubble.      Just like I pawed at the ground to find the one crocus that came up yesterday and dissapeared today!

The rest of the herd was munching the hay or laying down and chewing their cud.   They like the snow.     I prefer the snow.. and my friends had left messages on my cell saying that other states got the rain and wind.  amen.

The maple trees looked good in their white decorations, but the sweet maple sap has stopped running because its too cold.

The cows at the hay rack were chewing every bite.  And looking for crackers.

Shorty had lots of room to eat from any area he wanted to.

There were a few missing cows, but I could see them over at the "club house."

Gracie is the expectant mother, on the right.    She wasn't at the hay rack this morning, so I know that something is up.
Gracie's mom, Google, has been by her side for 2 days now.
All my cows have always calved with no assistance from me.   Calving totally unassisted, is a requirement in order to stay in this elite herd.

"Usually" my Simmentals bag up just a little before they calve and then immediately drop their milk and bag up fast right after giving birth.

The process is mooooving right along with this 8 year old gentle cow who usually has 120 lb bouncing baby boys.

She is getting very floppy on the hind end as well.

If anyone would like to guess a date of birth and the gender of the calf, I will send a cow book to the best guess.

Back at the hay rack........

The ancient Jersey cow was munching some hay when I noticed how the snow flakes were landing on her horns......

and staying on the horns.

Even at the very tippy top.

This fasinated me since I know her horns are warm to the touch, even in the winter, most times.      Horned animals lose body heat through their horns.
I have often wanted to make "horn mittens" for older horned cows, like this one, to keep their body heat in during the winter.

In the south, horned cattle stay cooler because they lose heat thru their horns.  Make sense?

Susan has a great set of horns.

The other cows itch themselves on them when Susan is laying down chewing her cud.

As I was heading out the snow flakes got much bigger.

One last look at the mom-to-be and then I headed to work.


  1. I saw your link on the farm friend post today. I thought I would drop in and see how you were. I thought it was amazing that the snow was on Susan's horns like that. When I was a kid and I had my milk cow Suzy :) who was a Jersey I always touched her horns and they were always warm. I haven't thought about that in years. I hope your Momma cow has a fast delivery.

  2. I guess not until tomorrow and hoping for a heifer for you.
    Hope all goes well.

  3. Ack! I love the pics of your lovely herd, but boy I'm glad we don't have that snow here!

    I'm visiting from Farm Friend Friday and enjoyed meeting some of your cows!

  4. I just love your bovine narratives. Gladly we would take some of you moisture here.

  5. hmmm maybe next monday??? and Heifer for sure! haha

    OHhhhh i wish it was spring...


  6. i love your idea of horn mittens! good to see all the mooooooos

  7. Those horns are Big!You can feel the cold just looking at your pictures. My guess is Calf on tuesday and a baby girl calf.

  8. I, too, much prefer snow to rain.
    I've been enjoying reading through your past posts.

  9. I think I have seen more of a cow than I ever thought necessary! :)

  10. Hummmmm I would say any day now you are going to see a new calf. By the weekend for sure!


  11. What a beautiful post! Is there a 'baby' yet?