In the last few weeks, we have had several new additions to the herd.
And being the lucky family we are, we don’t even have to look far to see if a calf has been born in the last day. Our dogs bring the evidence (not the calf) right to our yard. (**If you don’t know what this is referring to, scroll to the bottom for an explanation.)
It also helps that the pen where the expectant cows are in is right behind our backyard.
It is of calving that I want to share two stories.
A couple weeks ago, two cows had their babies on the same day not long apart.
Because cows often calve while my dad is milking or sleeping, rarely does he know right when calves are born. Quite often he sends one of his children to check, and we usually report back that there is still no calf.
Well, this time when he went out to the pen to see if one of the cows calved. He saw two calves from two different cows. And that was a problem.
They were both bulls. One came from a high-pedigree family (he’s the great-grandson of Hawarden Jace Pix), and my dad was planning on keeping it. He didn’t plan to keep the other.
You’d think he’d be able to tell them apart by which calf was by which cow—they were both by the same cow. And the other mother cow was off eating.
If there’s one thing my dad knows, it’s the Pixy family, so he thinks he knows which one is which. But to be safe, he sent in hair samples for a genomics test. For now, they’re both in our calf barn.
The video below is of the “believed” keeper charging through the calf barn on his birthday.
So I give my dad grief about being a “bad farmer” when things like the before mentioned happen. But sometimes I’m even a “worse farmer’s daughter.”
Like I said earlier, he calls us kids and tell us to get off the couch and check to see if he has a calf born. He called me on Friday, May 26, to do that very thing.
He wanted me to check a cow that he expected to have twins.
And I well did check, and I didn’t see anything. I reported back saying the cow lying in the straw had no calf. (In my defense, most cows have their calves in the straw under the shelter.)
I was walking out of the pen while on the phone with him, and he said something that reminded me that the cow in question was light-colored. That wasn’t the cow in the straw.
And then I found her in the back corner, and there was indeed a newly born calf. I admitted my mistake and told him there was one calf.
I started walking around a bit and noticed a second calf out of view behind a dirt pile. I again had to admit my error; there were two babies. My excuse did not impress my dad.
The good news is that both calves were female, so at least I had that good news to report to my dad. (For those who don’t know, in a male and female twin set, the female is usually a freemartin, meaning it carries some of the male’s genetics and is therefore infertile.)
**Dogs tend to enjoy eating and playing with cows’ afterbirth, and unfortunately, our dogs bring it to our yard.