We have around 60 suckler cows that calve twice a year.
We calve from February to April and September to December. Unlike lambing calving is a bit less intense purely as we don’t have the same numbers.
We have some similar procedures in that we bring in them in to keep an eye on the cows and give them extra food. We do regular checks for signs of calving and when they have calved, mother and calf go into their own pen so they can spend some time alone together.
Like the sheep we try not to intervene where possible and with the older cows this is normally the case. The heifers (first time moms) we find are often more troublesome and need intervention.
Quite often you will come to check the pen and like nothing has happened a new baby calf is standing there. I was lucky enough to be in the yard just as a Belgium blue started to calf so I filmed the whole thing.
The video below contains the whole birth- so if you’re squeamish look away! I have sped it up as the whole process took around 45 minutes.