The Joy of a Baby Calf

new calf 3I’m not a mother, so it’s really hard for me to speak to the joy of having a new baby either at home or the actual experience of bringing a baby into this world or home from the hospital. But I have recently found that there can be a lot of joy found in finding a brand new calf in your pasture.

Our cows are right in the midst of calving, which means I’m checking on them multiple times a day to see if they are a) in labor b) need help or c) have delivered the calf on their own and have no problems. Thus far, the cows have been doing a great job of achieving option (c). Our cows are just that, cows. They are not first-calf heifers, which is a female cow that has never had a calf before. Generally, heifers need more attention and potentially, help with birth, than a mature cow. So, I’ve been fortunate to not have to pull any calves and they have all been healthy! Every time I walk out in the pasture, I am hoping to find a new calf. It brings me such joy to see them wobbling around, nursing for the first time and be able to witness the maternal instincts of the cow kick in as she positions herself between me and the calf.


new calf 2It’s hard to put a finger on why a new calf leaves me in awe. Maybe it’s because none of our cows have needed help delivering a calf, or maybe it’s because I just believe the miracle of life is truly that — a miracle.

When you think about all the things that have to go right for a healthy baby to be born – no matter if it’s a human or a calf – it really boggles my mind. Two microscopic organisms join and then multiply billions of times and somehow this cute four-legged creature comes out. Shortly thereafter, it’s walking and suckling while its mother is cleaning it off.  Just as I imagine a new mother coos to her infant, a mama cow will softly moo to her calf to ease its worries or signal it’s time to move along in a different direction. The whole thing is just miraculous and beautiful to me.

I’ve been truly fortunate to be able to happen upon four new calves over the past week and each one leaves me in awe just as the one before. Twenty years from now, after calving what will likely be thousands of calves, I hope that I am still spellbound by the miracle of life and the amazing bond between a mother and baby.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~