These are some of our heifers that are due to calve, and all will have over the next six weeks. Heifers are ‘cows’ that haven’t had a calf before, so the whole thing is new to them.
We need to make sure they have the calf okay and that the Mum loves it. Some heifers don’t understand they’ve had a calf and need to look after it, let it feed, etc, so if this happens, they need to be taken to the yards and encouraged to love each other!
If you’re not there often enough and a heifer wonders off from her calf then you don’t know who belongs to who.
Anthony or I check them twice a day (morning and night) to make sure they aren’t having any problems in birthing because, like in women, the ones that haven’t had a calf before, may get into difficulty.
One reason is a mis-presentation in the way the calf is lying in the uterus. If this is the case, she needs our help to get the calf out. Once the heifer has had a calf, she then becomes a ‘cow’ and doesn’t need checking every day when her next calf is due. (Bit like a teenager turning into an adult.)
So far we’ve two babies and no problems, although really, we didnn’t expect any. In six weeks time, this paddock will be full of calves running and playing and causing havoc on the fences!