Calves

Calves are born in early spring and weaned at nearly seven months old.

Cow and Calf at Eden ValleySince sometime in the 1980's ranchers have fed hay to their cows ready to calve in the late afternoon.  Research has shown that ruminants like cows will not calve until about 12 hours (+ or -) after they eat.  The main goal is to have babies in daylight.  Days are warmer, the rancher can see to provide assistance and predators are fewer.  March and April can still be quite wintry in our mountainous environment and late day feeding is a helpful program.

When the calf is born, ideally the cow claims it and licks it dry.  The licking is very important not only to protect the calf for warmth, but to stimulate the calf.  Many calves will stand and try to suck when they are from a half hour to one hour old.  The first milk (colostrum) is essential to the health of the calf.  Soon after they eat, they sleep.  Young babies sleep most of their day and get their milk every few hours all around the clock.  The mama will leave the baby long enough to go eat and drink when she feels it is safe. It generally sleeps while she is gone.