Calving Season on the Farm

“To live on a farm is to know renewal, restoration, new life, new beginnings.”

It is calving season on the farm and now we check our cows several times a day to see who is close. We watch for signs of milk coming in. A full bag and a mama cow who keeps to herself are signs. This year three calves have arrived so far.

The white cow with horns is Liza. She’s a good mama who has strong good weight calves. This little heifer calf we named Rachel for Rachel Saint. (She was a missionary who went to work with the Auca tribe in Ecuador after her brother-in-law Nate Saint was killed along with four other Christian missionaries by this group of hostile jungle people.) We expect this pretty little cow to be brave and strong!

The little black calf is named for Gladys Alward who was a missionary in China who helped stop the cultural atrocity of footbinding. Gladys was called a small woman by the Chinese. This calf weighed only 47 pounds. (while Rachel weighed 72 pounds––just right for Angus). Gladys May is tiny compared to Rachel.

Each calf is weighed in a scale and checked, doctored if needed, and tagged. Left ear for the heifers, right ear for bull calves. The ear tag assigns each a number, and holds “parent“ information, birth date, etc.

Rachel is tan and with some spots you might take her for a deer fawn. She is a pretty calf! The baby nurses until she is so full she can barely walk and then sleeps it off in the sunny pasture or a spot of shade near the woods. She will grow fast and be a fine Mama cow herself in a few years.

Mama Liza is very protective and doesn’t like anyone to come near her baby who had to be calf-napped by Farmer Ron and his helper Brenna to get her checked out and tended.

She rushes off with her little one as soon as possible and hopes we won’t bother her baby anymore.

Baby Gladys, who belongs to a beautiful cow named Ten Boom for Corrie Ten Boom, is a bit wobbly and yet gambols about behind Ten Boom on her spindly legs. We think she’ll be small at least for a while.

[ I am sad to report that little Gladys has died. We found her in the pasture early this morning and her mama quite miserable. Gladys was a pretty calf but must have had something wrong inside that affected her size and kept her from taking hold. Sadly, loss is a part of farm life.]

Calf number three (of the eight expected) is a beautiful Black Brangus bull calf born just two says ago and weighing in at 92 pounds. Leah is the mama cow of the newest addition. This baby is hardy and very healthy. I will post photos of him soon.

As the other calves are born we will surely have some more bulls, which we won’t name as they will become steers for sale or freezer meat. Sometimes they get nicknames like Trouble and Whiteface and Rowdy. Our bull is named Judah.

I like to name the heifers. Our cows are Leah, Hannah, Augusta, Nora Lam, Dolly, Octavia, Liza, and Ten Boom. We sold two older cows this year named Rosa and Bessie. Bessie has probably produced a fine angus calf for some lucky buyer by now. One of our cows, Lottie Moon, was traded this summer for a little steer named Grub, who is quite an independent little fellow.

Did you know that cows could have horns or did you think only bulls had horns? Many are surprised by our white cow Liza’s horns.

If you had a calf born on your farm what would you name it?

“Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine and the fulness thereof.”


Psalm 50 :10-12

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