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|Calf Being Born
|Seeing a calf being born is an amazing experience. If you know your cattle well and you know the
signs to look for, you can observe the cow from the first signs of discomfort right through to the
actual birth of the calf. This series of photos is of Harmony giving birth to Jude. I was lucky
enough to be on hand so took these photos whilst she was giving birth. If all goes well the birth is
usually very quick and the calf is up and drinking within 15-30 minutes. As soon as it is born the
mother will lick it clean. This process also stimulates the calf into getting up and looking for its
first drink. Even though calves are small they are remarkably strong and within a couple of hours
they are walking and often running around the paddock. The first few days they sleep a lot and
feed often. We handle our calves a lot during this time to get them used to being around people. It
makes a big difference later in their life as our cattle are always quiet and easy to handle.
|These 2 photos were taken at 2.42pm. The first sign of the calf emerging is the two front feet
coming out (in a normal birth). At this stage the cow will often lie down for a while then she will get
up and walk around, then lie down again. The feet will often disappear and reappear several
times. Once the cow lies down and stays down it is "game on". The calf will be born soon.
|These photos were taken at 2.45pm, little Jude is on the ground and Harmony is licking her
clean. Lynleigh is watching with interest as her little sister is being cleaned. Note the calf is
already trying to stand up, at just a few minutes old.
|After all the effort of being born, standing and walking for the first time and having
a big drink of warm milk, it is time for a well earned rest for both mother and baby.
|Once the calf is clean the mother will encourage her to have a drink. The calf is still quite
unsteady on her feet so it can take a little while for her to find the udder and have a drink.
|Harmony and Jude
|To see a video of this birth go to:
Calf Being Born Video
|WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS