It's that time of year when our spring calving herd start giving birth. We have 44 cows in the spring group (imaginatively named Herd 1) and they started calving at the end of February. So far 37 have calved so we are well on the way - now everyone is just raring to get outdoors and into the grass.
As you will see from the pictures below our cows and the resultant calves are not peas-in-a-pod - the colours and patterns cover a whole range from all black to mixes of red, white and blue (a kind of grey). This is because most of the cows are crossbreds and the two bulls we are using further mix things up. We don't mind what colours they are - we are far more focused on the fact they are healthy, need the minimum of assistance and look after themselves.
If you are wondering why the calf on the bottom right has a coat on, well that was because she was smaller than normal when born, and it was bitterly cold. We dont like to fiddle too much but it made sure she had a good start. After 10 days she had basically out grown it - proof it did its job.
The cows live in 3 different pens, and have been in these groups since housing in December. They calve on the straw bed amongst the rest of the herd. We keep a close eye on them but generally they stay with the group - we don't pen them up separately with their calf. We do have to catch the calf to put the ear tags in, and I try to do this 48 hours after they are born. Normally at this age I can actually catch them and do it in the pen along side their mother - again far better than disturbing the group by trying to remove the calf or cow and calf.
Anyway we will shortly be publishing some dates for farm walks in April, so if you are interestd you can come and meet them face to face.