This photo shows a caring and watchful bovine mom nursing her young calf. I took this particular photo in October of 2011. This cow and calf will always have a special place in my heart because this bull calf was born on my wedding day, 9.17.11. The cow pictured was one of our first heifers (a female that has not had a calf yet) we bought to start our small herd back in 2008. She is a Black Angus dairy cross with a lot of milk for her calves. She always raises a great calf for us each year. One of her heifer calves, has turned out to be the best brood cow in my herd as far as fertility and mothering ability/milk are concerned. Here is another photo to show just how cute this calf was…
It is always a good sign when a calf stretches! Good cow moms always keep a close watch on their calves until the calves become big enough to care of themselves. This particular mom was a little more protective than we like so we always had to keep an eye on her as well when we tagged her calves or were around them.
Mothering ability is so important in brood cows. How do you know if a heifer is going to turn into a great brood cow? You cannot entirely know but you can have a good idea. It is always up to the heifer as to how she will act when the calf is born. Mothering instinct has to kick in and if it does not, you have a calf to take care of! When selecting heifers, I am looking for a gentle disposition (good attitude), excellent conformation (how well she is structured), genetic potential, family history, and more!
This Mother’s Day, take time to appreciate your mom and animal moms everywhere! “Behind every good kid (or calf) is a GREAT mom!” Happy Mother’s Day!