Summer has turned to full autumn here in the South. The leaves are changing color and falling in beautiful patterns on the green pastures. It’s a delightful time of crisp mornings, warmer days and new babies on our beef cattle farm.
In the South cattlemen can structure their cattle operations around two calving seasons if they wish to. In cooler regions of the U.S., the weather limits the cattlemen to spring calving only and therefore only one payday per year. The milder winters and longer growing seasons of the South afford its cattlemen the luxury of two paydays per year. The farmer simply schedules the nine months of bovine gestation to culminate around March and October for different cows. This timing creates the spring calving herd and the fall calving herd.
Some things around here are real technical – naming things, not so much. ;o)
We have two calving seasons on our farm. Each spring and fall we await with great anticipation the appearance of the first new baby bovine of the season. It’s a lot of extra fun and extra work to ensure the safe arrival and subsequent thriving of the calves. We need to check the herd at least twice each day – in the morning once the sun is up and late afternoon before dark.
Sometimes, like last night, my husband drove a mile or more roundtrip on the back pasture to check on one cow and calf repeatedly, so that the coyotes didn’t eat the baby calf.
Scary, I know. But they already ate one calf and mauled another one this week. Then this mama calves right at dark and is testy with the Farmer…that’s a story for another day.
For today, just know my Farmer checked on this cow at 10pm, 2am and 6am and ran the coyotes off. I’ll give you more detail on this in a later post. Suffice to say mama and baby are well this morning.
And when my good lookin’ Farmer gets up in the night to check on a baby a mile away, I may just melt into a puddle…okay, I admit to puddle status. ;o)
Over the next 6-8 weeks of calving season, I will highlight our calving season tasks and challenges and triumphs here. Are you ready?
It’s a story of milk face…
…and mamas with clover on their chins and secrets hidden in the grasses.
It’s a tale of struggle against ruthless killers lurking in the night…
…and an anti-terrorism patrol with hooves to throw when the Farmer can’t be there with his rifle.
I hope you’ll join me over these next weeks and share our journey. It is adorable and dire. My nerves love and hate it.
Such is life anywhere. I think you’ll relate to this journey more than you may realize.