I performed my first official, unsupervised, calf check last night. Now I have to be honest, I didn’t check all of the cows and heifers, only one that Derek knew was in labor. But, as instructed, with flashlight in hand, I tramped through the dark to check on the mother cow to see if she had delivered her calf.
I was a little scared of what I would find but as expected, a new, less-than-an-hour-old calf was just learning to stand and take her first steps. It was amazing to see something so new to the world attempt to stand and walk on four wobbly and fragile legs.
Now there are times that mother cows need our help bringing their new babies into the world. But 95 percent of our cows and heifers deliver their calves unannounced and unaided. It is amazing, and at the same time humbling, to think that we, as humans, are not essential to the continuation of the circle of life.
I enjoy going with Derek to check the cows and heifers for new babies. It’s always exciting to find a new calf and see how small and fragile they are. You will often find a newborn curled up in a corner, waiting for its mother – and its meal – to return. Derek and his father have found calves in some unusual places and dozens of calves have been welcomed into the world during less-than-sunny weather, but they all manage to “weather” the storm and grow into happy, health cows and steers.