The cow looked thin, thinner than the day before so I suspected that there must be a new born calf around. I had been watching Lucy closely for about a month. She was pregnant and her udders had filled out a few days earlier so I knew she was due soon.
This year all the eighteen births on the farm were easy and accomplished without help from me, the farmer. In previous years we've had to pull out calves that were backwards or too big to be born on their own. Every birth is special and even if we don't help with the birth we feel it's important to watch the cow and baby for a few days to make sure the calf is nursing and healthy.
Besides being thin, Lucy was looking intently towards the back of the pasture. Newborn calves are very hard to find so it's best to let the mom lead you to them. I walked in the direction Lucy was looking and as I walked she followed behind me. By following me she confirmed I was headed towards her calf. As we got close she started mooing and after a few minutes I saw the little heifer sleeping just inside the fence close to the 9th hole of the golf course that abuts the farm. I even found a stray golf ball near her.
She jumped up when I touched her and walked with her Mom about ½ mile to the “holding pen” where I could keep an eye on her and Lucy for a few days. I'm frequently asked how quickly the babies stand after birth. They usually are standing within an hour and are nursing within two hours. Some babies are slower than others. This little girl, named Jolene by our AirBNB guests, was a day old when I found her and joyfully energetic but after the long walk to the holding pen she plopped down and slept for a few hours. For the first few days the babies are either kicking up their heels as they run circles around their moms or sleeping to recover their energy.
Jolene is a happy calf and because she's a heifer with a great disposition will become part of our breeding herd. Visit us on October 9th for our Miles Smith Farm Annual Farm Day to meet Jolene and all her new farmyard friends.