As the dust settles on the holiday hustle and bustle, the chaos of calving begins on the Sawyer farm. As expected, the first calves of the 2013 calving season arrived this morning. The problem is it was from an unexpected mother.
We breed our heifer calves – those female cows that will deliver their first calf this year – to begin delivering sometime during the first week of January. We do this to, hopefully, get the calves on the ground before the snow and blistering cold of February hits Kansas. Our mother cows – those that have had at least one calf – are due to begin calving during the first week of February. Mother cows are experienced in child birth and often have larger, healthier cows.
So Derek was greeted with quite a surprise this morning when he found a baby calf among his mother cows. The calf was a happy, healthy boy, up and running alongside his mother. While we were happy to meet him, this little guy wasn’t due to arrive until next month.
Across the farm, right on schedule, two heifer calves also gave birth to calves this afternoon. All three delivered without our assistance and without incident.
The arrival of the first calf signals the official start of calving season. For Derek and his father, that means regular trips to our cattle facilities. For me, it means hundreds of new faces and photo opportunities. The winter just got busy and our farm a little more crowded.