Friday morning in our garage was calm as all the calves had yet to wake and begin exploring. It was a stark contrast from the scene last night when four calves, two dogs and two cats attempted to share our two-car garage to stay warm and out of the snow. The sights and sounds of the garage can only be described as a small but entertaining animal circus.
About 2 p.m. Thursday, my husband brought home four calves born in the snow and wind. The mother cows simply weren’t getting the calves up and dry fast enough so my husband made the decision to bring them to our house to warm up and regain their strength.
Consequently, the dogs surrendered their dog beds, the cats their peace the quiet and me, my garage. But the shivering calves with big, doe eyes maked it hard to get upset about the invasion. I found blankets and towels to lay on the ground and cover the calves with. I also brought out my hair blow dryer and began drying the calves to help them warm. They didn’t tell me so, but I think they enjoyed the extra pampering. By 5 p.m. last night, most of the calves were up and exploring, bawling for mom and sucking on anything and anyone they could find. The dogs didn’t appreciate the noise, but it was a positive sound for weary cattle owners.
In addition to warming the calves, Derek also gave them a serving of colostrum to help kick start their systems. Like humans, mother cows produce colostrum as the first source of nutrition for their new calves. It’s important the calves get those vital sources of calories, fat and nutrients.
After a good nights rest in the garage, Derek and his father will return the calves to their mothers. They will watch to ensure mother and calf bond and that the mother allows her new one to suck. It’s a rewarding sight for any cattle owner and a sign of hard work paying off. These animals are our business and like any business owner, we do everything we can to create a safe, healthy product.