Friday, February 1, 2013

Oh Baby!

Meet the newest addition to the County Line. This little guy was our firstborn for 2013. He arrived on Tuesday before we got back to Kansas, so Jake sent us a photo via email. At first, Jake thought we were off to a bad start for the 2013 calving season when he found a dead baby calf in the pasture. A short time later, he called back and said that the mama cow had twins. One survived, and the other didn't.

He may not be quite as cute as our little farm girl, Kinley, but we are glad to welcome him to the "family," too.
By the time we came home Wednesday afternoon, calf number two had also arrived. The cows weren't supposed to start calving until February 10.
Mother and baby are doing fine, despite frigid temperatures and wind chill that greeted Baby Calf No. 2 after being all warm and cozy for nine months. The change in weather has evidently brought calving season on early.
When we got home, we checked on the babies and the other "ladies in waiting."
This is the second year we won't be calving out heifers. (For those who don't know, those are the first-time moms.) The second year of drought was a contributing factor in the decision. If it doesn't rain this winter and spring, we might have to sell off additional cows before we take them to pasture next spring. The pastures have been depleted because of the lack of moisture for replenishing the natural grasses.

For the past two years, we've sold feeder calves in the late summer/early fall, right as we weaned them from their mothers. Typically, we have held onto those calves and fed them throughout the winter, then sold them in the spring. However, the drought has left us with shorter feed supplies - both hay and silage - forcing us to sell early to make sure we have enough feed for the mama cows during the winter months.

Another factor was Randy's back surgery. He has another month during which he's not supposed to lift more than 10 pounds. First-time moms are more likely to need help with labor and delivery. This removes one source of "temptation" to do more than he should. (By the way, I built up my muscles lifting suitcases in and out of the car during our trip to Kentucky.)

Baby No. 3 arrived on Thursday during a brief snow storm. Only 115 to go!


  1. Love baby calves on the farm--though I prefer them in the spring! (I hated that Dad had to go out in those miserable temperatures to check on them!)

  2. It's one of my favorite times on the farm. For us, the timing is because we are less busy with fieldwork, etc., during the winter months. But the weather definitely causes some complications at times. However, right now, we won't turn down rain or snow - whenever it falls!