These girls, bred to Wagyu bulls from Snake River Farms in Idaho, will be two years old this fall and are, on average, 60-90 days away from having their first calf. Feeling full, they have retired to the shade by early morning. No longer big calves, they are becoming cows, aware of something inside them, and will continue to be slightly restless and uncomfortable until the calf is born. Each first-calf heifer handles this new state of being a little differently as instinct overcomes confusion to varying degrees.
Because of the drought, they have access to the irrigated pasture where we normally run our weaned heifer calves, but we kept no replacement heifer calves this year due our shortage of feed and the time required—nine month gestation and another nine before a calf is weaned—to generate any income. We are looking forward to these girls becoming exceptional mothers.