iPhone photo: Teri Drewry

iPhone photo: Terri Drewry

Calving since the 1st of September, we’re always pleased, and relieved, to see our first-calf heifers forming nurseries rather than hiding their calves singly as easier prey to coyotes. I find the babysitter selection process interesting. Oftentimes it seems that the cow with the youngest calf gets the duty because her calf needs the most attention, so while she’s at it, she just as well take care of the other calves at the same time while the other mothers graze. Yesterday, while feeding the heifers with Wagyu X calves, 1038 was under a sycamore tree with a few calves while the others were lined-out on the alfalfa. For whatever reason, she was off her feed and subsequently got the call. Sympathetically, her calf is licking her head.


5 responses to “Babysitter

  1. That is the sweetest photo! Do you ever give a real name to any of the heifers? Or always just numbers? I can see myself giving all the babies a name (good thing I’m not a rancher).


    • Some cows with distinguishing features or behavior get nicknames, not all complimentary. ‘Left Turn’ had one horn. ‘Motorboat’ had a perfect waterline between her white belly and black body and always tried to get away. ‘Bugs’ had two horns like rabbit ears. ‘Speck’ was a speckled Longhorn cow, and so on… Not everyone gets a name, but names are easier to remember than numbers conversationally. Numbers work better on paper. Our numbering system begins with the year they were born. 1038 was born in 2011, had a Wagyu X calf in 2012, skipped 2013 and had a Wagyu X calf this year.


  2. It would be fun to know how they figure out whose turn it is for babysitting duty.


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