I absolutely love when babies start hitting the ground. This year, we actually have a few spring borns. Normally, most of the babies in our herd are born in August/September, so it was nice to see a baby hitting the ground a little earlier this year. We watched the whole thing. I always appreciate mommas when they give birth. They make it look so easy. Anyone who has gone through the process, knows it's not as easy as an animal can make it look. No epidural, no supportive partner holding her hoof, not even a sweet nurse or OB to guide her through her birthing process.
Here is what I have noticed. Cows do not behave much differently than humans when it comes to their newborn babies. Here are some behaviors that humans have in common with momma cows.
We like to be alone when we deliver (no one wants their entire extended family in the delivery room with them.) When I delivered our son, I remember the code words that were used immediately after the birth to alert the nurses to clear the room if I were overwhelmed, "Grapefruit popcicle." Momma cows don't want an audience either. But they don't get the code words like we do.
They like to bond. They immediately get up (like a superstar or a Royal). Then they do something we absolutely do not; they clean off their young. Thank God we don't do this. Not exactly a part of the process any of us want to partake in! But, it helps the calf get their wits about them and start moving around a bit, get their blood flowing.
But then, just like humans...the excitement spreads. All the extended family come on over to see the new kid on the block. Check her out. Congratulate the new mom. (I am fairly positive that animals can have their own conversations, like the movies "Charlotte's Web," "The Secret Life of Pets," or even "Marmaduke.")
Another thing I noticed about momma cow is how protective she gets with her young. Who can blame her? We all get into "momma bear mode," especially when our babies are brand new, keeping visitors at a safe distance.
Momma wants to make sure baby gets some good colostrum in her. Sound familiar? She gets her up and around as soon as she is sufficiently cleaned off. That colostrum is important stuff. This sweet little girl had a time getting her long legs under her to balance. We witnessed several "tries" before she finally made it up. The momma in me wanted to just go help her up. But her momma wanted no part of me. I just stayed at a safe distance.
I always give the babies names when they are born. Mr. Cowboy lets me keep most of the names I come up with. Now they aren't the fancy names that most give, based on who was the sir and the dame. They are more "fitting" to the calf and the momma.
Her name is "Twiggy." She's got some long ole legs and could give any model a run for her money. I recommend you google "Twiggy, the model." You will get a better idea of what I mean.
Our "Twiggy" is doing good. She is healthy and steadily gaining her balance.
A healthy blessing.