Monday, January 17, 2011

Calves and secrets

It's been a month now since our last calf was born and I am really enjoying the break. Our last two calves of 2010 came on the 16th of December and, believe me, I did a little happy dance that day.

The first calf, a week-overdue bull, arrived shortly before we got to the barn that morning. Great, I thought, just one left to calve.

By the time we finished chores, Disney's calf was on its way, too. I was so excited. Disney was already a day overdue and I figured she'd go a week over just to spite me.

After the heifer calf was born, Glen said, "Well, you got your Tinkerbell. And now I have a secret to tell you."

"A secret?" I asked.

"Disney was bred five days after the cutoff," he said sheepishly.

"And you kept that secret for nine whole months?"

We agreed last March that we wouldn't breed any cows from March 10th to May 10th, so that there wouldn't be any calves born from December 15th to February 15th.

Disney came into heat on March 15th. Since she was a first calf heifer, Glen didn't think she should wait another two months to breed back, so he bred her. He recorded a breeding date of March 10th on the breeding chart and zipped his lips.

"So, in reality Disney was due December 21st and she calved early?" I asked.

"Yep," Glen said.

"Boy, are you lucky she didn't go a week overdue!"

"Yeah, I was starting to get worried," he admitted.

We ended up having a good laugh about it and I commended Glen for his resolve to keep his secret.

The break has really been nice. We don't have an indoor calving area, so calves born this time of year mean a lot of extra worrying and a lot of extra work. We won't have a full two months off like I had hoped (it's more like five-and-a-half weeks), but it's way better than the two weeks we had off last year!


  1. Glen can be so mean! Glad to hear you guys are getting a well deserved break! Obviously you'll have NOTHING else to do for your 5.5 weeks :)

  2. Thanks Lucas and Alise!

    You should see the list of "nothing else to do" I had planned for our break. Unfortunately, I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I had hoped and now the first calves will be here any day. Zoikes!


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