Monday, February 13, 2023

Aww, calves

We have some new neighbors who bought an old (and sadly uninhabitable) farmhouse a short distance away. They're slowly tearing down the farmhouse, salvaging some of the venerable lumber with which it was built, and eventually plan to build a new home on the original structure's footprint. Meanwhile, they're living in a nearby town.

But they have livestock at their farm: two horses, two cows, and a flock of chickens. They come in daily to care for them.

Don and I were walking Mr. Darcy a couple days ago, and we glanced at the cows and saw ... calves!

I talked to the neighbor today, and he says one is a little heifer, and the other a little bull calf. Even more interesting, he doesn't plan to steer the bull calf, but instead plans to raise him as a bull. How convenient is that???

Don and I hope we'll have all the infrastructure in place to get a couple of Jerseys by early fall (maybe sooner). Although we hope to purchase pregnant cows, or cow/calf pairs, we don't know what will on the market at the time we're looking. And even if we're lucky enough to get pregnant cows, we'll certainly need breeding services at some point in the future. Having a young bull so close by will certainly be handy.

Sigh. I miss calves. It will be good to have some of our own again.


  1. When I was a small child we lived on a small farm with a few cows. When a calf was born, Daddy would bring it into the house, dry it off in front of the fire with burlap bags, and when it was dry take it back to its Mama. I didn't really think of that as a child, but now I see it was very cold outside. And being wet all over makes cold worse. Now I think he was helping ensure survival of the calf .
    The best barn I ever was in had a huge stone hearth in a front corner, and a wood burning stove on top. The ground was swept clean of any debris. It was a pretty cold day outside, and all the animals were out in it and all looked healthy and happy. Inside that barn, with the doors open, it was cozy. Probably 60 degrees. Chickens were wandering in and out. I've always thought it would be wonderful to have a barn like that. I'll bet those chickens laid a lot of eggs.

  2. Is there a general rule of how much acreage a heifer would take? We're thinking of getting one next year, but not sure we have enough. We have about 10 acres, but most of it is wooded, so we would have to supplement the 2 - 3 acres of pasture with hay.