It’s calving season! This is one of our favorite times of year because it’s when the majority of our baby calves are born. They’re just plain cute!
One of the questions we’re sometimes asked is “Where are the calves born?”
The answer may surprise you, but the vast majority of the time calves are born in the field without anyone around.
We place our cows that are pregnant in a different pasture from those that aren’t so that we can monitor them closely and help with their birth if needed. However, the goal is that the cow will be able to have her calf without any assistance from us.
Cows are similar to humans in that they have a 9-month gestation period. Once born, a healthy calf will stand up and walk within an hour or two. Then, the calf will spend about 6-months with its mother drinking milk. When the calf is around 6-months-old and 500 lbs, we ween the calves from their mom so that they’ll start eating grass. By this time in a calf’s life, it’s able to convert grass into the nutrients it needs to grow and gain muscle.