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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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March 26, 2010

How a Calf is Born~

A few weeks ago, I asked Dominic to come up to the house to let me know when a cow was in the process of calving because I wanted to video tape it. We have babies born here on the ranch everyday but it seems 95% of them are born in the middle of the night. I didn't want to camp out in the Calving Barn overnight. Yesterday, Bryce had a friend come over after school for a play date. We were home for no more than 10 minutes when Dominic came up to tell me that a cow was just beginning to calve. Great! I loaded all three kids, Bryce, his friend Wes and Paige into the truck and drove down to the Calving Barn to watch, take photos and video tape the birth. What a fantastic play date! It was this heifer's first time calving.....a very new experience for her.......soon to make the transition from heifer to cow..... I tried to get a little closer with my ipod nano but it made Mama cow nervous. She got up and walked further away from me............ Front calf hooves coming out..........a good sign..... Dominic was able to help her along. Here he is pulling the calf out, gently by her legs.... (the orange spot you see in almost all of the photos is the reflection of my orange ipod nano that I am also holding to take video at the same time.....sorry!) The head and front legs of the calf are now out......... The calf has been born and Dominic is making sure both the nasal passage and mouth are clear and the calf is breathing. The bedding that you see in the barn is rice hulls. More cleaning........ Mama and baby are left alone...... First time Mama stands up after giving birth to catch her breath. The afterbirth should clear out on it's own..... A different Mama cow comes over to clean the new born calf. (She had her calf the day prior) And here she is.....all clean and cozy in the corner. When I walked over to this calf to take her photo, her mama, who was still cleaning the other cow's baby, was keeping a very close eye on me. I didn't want to get charged so I moved away. Some cows are extremely protective of their calves. Another Mama with her new born calf...... This is the video I took with my ipod nano, which doesn't have a zoom. It was dark in the barn and I couldn't get too close to the cow otherwise she would stand up and move away. She put her trust in Dominic though! Happy Friday! Cheers! Pin It
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