Even though we have hundreds of baby calves born on our ranch every year, I still get giddy when I witness the actual birth! I rarely see calves born...if I know a cow is in labor, I will check to make sure she is getting the job done. I look to see if there are two feet presented and that she looks like she can handle it and then I head out and get my other work accomplished. I usually return an hour or so later to see a live calf standing and nursing its new mama.
But today, I had visitors coming. I planned to show them the cows and new calves and then we were going to see a new set of twins we had a couple of days ago (which in the excitement we totally forgot to do!). A few days ago, my high school classmate, who did not grow up on a farm, sent me a message that she was visiting our old hometown and wondered if she could bring her kids to see my ranch! I was thrilled and readily said yes! So when they arrived, we loaded up into my pickup and headed out to the maternity pen to see the new baby calves. The first thing we saw was a cow in labor with two feet presented--and the cow was very focused on what she was doing so she didn't mind us watching! So I drove a few yards from her, parked the truck and turned it off and we had a front row seat to a true miracle of Nature!
As we watched, the cow pushed the calf into the world, and I talked about what usually happens and why and explained how lucky they were to actually see this! I have posted step by step pictures of the birth of a calf before. Check out: A Baby is Born! The kids asked very intelligent questions and we watched as the mama cow cleaned off her baby and called to it. It struggled to stand and we finally left to head to see other things, but not before getting a picture with the cow and calf photo-bombing!
My friend is also a blogger, and she plans to blog about her experience today. I will post a link to her later, but go see her blog at KitchenPantryScientist now! We talked about many things on a ranch, including grass management, feedlots, baby calves and even country of origin labelling for meats and ag products. What a variety of topics! I am so pleased that Liz asked to visit. Not everyone has the chance to visit a farm or ranch. If I am available, I am happy to show people my ranch, but I can't promise everyone to have a calf born in front of you! But for many people, the internet is the only place to learn about farming and ranching.
Tonight, I have an exciting experience planned for which I have been waiting a long time! I am attending the premiere of a movie called "Farmland." It is a documentary that shows behind the scenes of real farms and ranches in America. It is directed by James Moll, who has won an Oscar, two Emmy's and a Grammy for his previous works. Watch the trailer for more information and check your local theater listings to see if it will be showing in your area! I plan to have my review available soon! And then go to FarmlandFilm.com for more information about the film, as well as biographies of the real farmers and ranchers that star in the movie! I am very excited about this opportunity for other people to see how real farms and ranches are "behind the scenes!"