Friday, March 2, 2012

Let The Calving Begin!

Well, Miss LeeLu suprised the heck outta me. I decided to go ahead and feed the cows (wasn't planning on it, but they just looked so pitiful standing around the feeder bunk gate that I relented) after I fed the dogs. While sitting in the dog run enjoying the frosty morning scenery, I noticed a dun lump out in the pasture, under the trees. Figured it was Roar; some mornings, if he's feeling particularly lazy and not too hungry, he'll just hang out under the trees and let the girls go eat. But then I remembered that Roar WAS at the gate with his girls - and then I saw a small black lump get up and start walking around the big dun lump. LeeLu! Yesterday evening at feeding time I noted that she was doing a lot of tail swishing, and she'd come into her milk about a week ago, but a closer look showed empty teats. Full teats is one of the most reliable signs of imminent calving in every cow except Ruffie, who produces so much milk that she drips for two weeks prior to calving. I did think about putting LeeLu and maybe Millie (due the same time, March 11th, or so I thought) in the maternity pasture, but decided it was getting too dark to try to sort those two out, especially as Miss Millie isn't the most cooperative cow on the ranch.

So there was little Zamora, a fine black bull calf. Always kinda fun, seeing what colour we get. Both LeeLu and daddy Roar are duns. I shut the gate to the feeder bunks so that no one would interfer, then walked out to corral the new mom and baby. Of course, LeeLu is a good cow and a good momma - she let me iodine his navel and weigh him with only a few comments - but she wasn't sure what I was doing now, so we all wandered down to the well at the bottom of the north pasture. I finally got her turned around and she headed back up the hill with Zamora galloping along beside her. Gotta love the Murray Greys - the calves are up and running so fast you'd think they were a week old when they are actually only a few hours old. Into the maternity pasture they went after our long, leisurely stroll up the hill, and the Three Amigas - Joy (LeeLu's firstborn), Hilda (Millie's girl by Tali) and baby Izzy, Ruffie's freshly weaned daughter by Roar - ran over to meet the new baby, much to mom's dismay. At one point she set Hilda down on her big black butt for getting too close. Hilda got up and got the message. But now everyone is just grazing and enjoying the cold but at least for now dry weather.

I do not know at this point if Zamora will be for sale. Watch the website (www.morganriver.com) for future details. He's a pretty nice little guy; I might just make him my junior herdsire if he grows out nice.

One down, six to go!


About 4 hours old, with Auntie Misty, momma LeeLu and Auntie Vicky Cristina

Nice butt!












Galloping along with mom. That's Millie in the background; she's up next


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