Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Maternity Ward...

Apparently it's a good time to be born.  Spring January 2012...
For a month or so this fall we have had a couple of empty stalls in our barn.  We've been shipping less milk as a result, but have also been enjoying shortened, uncomplicated milking times and earlier supper times.

This week, that all changed.  Rather quickly.

It started last week with twins, and it's been a maternity ward ever since.  We've had to move some calves around to make room in the hutches for the new babies, which have (since the twins) all been heifers.  This hummie was moved today to the corner hutch, where she enjoyed kicking up her heels, and then settled down in the lush (in January?) green grass in the warm, near 50 degree (in January?)  sunshine...

She will likely be joined by another hummie tomorrow, because...yesterday this heifer was born...

...and this morning this one was born...

...and Rosie had a nice heifer calf just an hour or so after this picture was taken at noon...

...and 272 joined in the fun over supper time tonight!

Now for larger farms, this is a regular occurrence...six fresh cows in one week...but for us it's a bit unusual.  It will keep us busy...bottle feeding the babies, weaning them to a bucket in about a week...and making sure the mothers get off to a good start.  If a cow gets sick, it's often soon after calving, so we'll be watching them closely.

It's a regular maternity ward out there!


  1. We grew up on a dairy farm, so your blog brings back many happy memories. Thank you for sharing these pictures, and congratulations on all those beautiful babies!

  2. OMG! At least the weather isn't real bad! Looks like ya'll are going to be busy, busy, busy!!

  3. ok, you have to email me on what to do when they (possibly) get the milk fever your talking about. I've had a dozen Jerseys for 10 years and I think, I had that once, but she did OK. Some of my girls are getting up there in age and I suspect something will happen someday...Any info would be helpful and on those the Baby Boom, Congratulations!! Nice weather we're having and THAT's a good start!!

  4. Amazing weather for calving in January! With my background being beef cattle, I'm really curious about your operation. How long do you keep the calves, their diet, and all that stuff interests me. (In case you needed ideas for blog posts~hint. hint.)

  5. WE raise beef cows and my job during calving season is to watch the heifers and too have a maternity ward for them . A pasture close to the house so I can be on call

  6. It's been very mild here too in the PNW. Looks like you're going to have your hands full in the next while. The calves are awfully cute. Cheers, Jenni

  7. Beautiful, beautiful babies--and all heifers. Super! Yes, weird warm, dry weather. But so good for beginning a new life.

  8. Will you remind us how many cows you are currently milking? I think calving time is the only sad part... since the calves don't stay with their mamas for more than a day.

  9. Mary Ann...we're milking 36 cows right now. That's all the stalls we have in our barn. We have between 45-50 cows altogether (the others are dry right now), and 35+ replacement heifers. Not a large farm at all, but plenty for just us and our kids.

  10. So cute! Looks like fun to feed them, but I am sure it is a lot of work!


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