Our first calving season has been incredibly successful and we are very thankful. After months of studying “what signs to look for” and going over multiple birthing pasture options, our first calf arrived on April 1st.
Separating the Pregnant Cows
Highland cattle have gestation periods averaging around 283 days which is just over 9 months. We separated the pregnant cows from the fold months before to help them establish their boundaries and so we could keep a close eye on the whole process. We are very fortunate to be able to see the pasture from our living room, which was incredibly beneficial for observing and learning the cows changing behavior. We woke up a few times to new calves and got to observe the full parturition of others.
Signs that our Highland Cattle are going to give birth
One of the biggest signs we noticed about approaching labor was how the pelvic ligaments drastically changed. The sacro-sciatic ligament becomes less rigid, while the croup ligaments soften, creating a saggy, outward appearance. We noticed these changes mostly because the cows had been standing a certain way for months, and then within days of them giving birth, they started to stand more rounded almost as if they were lifting their tail. One of the surprises we discovered was how the other cows were a big clue to when the next calf was arriving. The new mama would often walk away from the group, but what we found fascinating was how the other cows would almost “take shifts” watching/staying close to the cow in labor. Calving season seems like a team effort on everyone’s end.
New life at Taysita Ranch
After 20 days our ranch added 6 new bull calves to the fold. Uno, Segundo, Richard, Dipstick Jr (DJ), Theodore (Teddy) and Maui. We had 2 brand new mamas, and the most noticeable difference between the calves is their size. The two calves from the new cows are much smaller, but all calves and moms are doing well and adjusting to new life. It’s been amazing to be so close to the process and seeing most moms trust us through it. We kept a safe distance from a few cows, while we helped other brand new calves to their feet for the first time. It’s so fun to be in the pasture everyday and watch the little calves grow, explore and develop their own personalities. If you want to see more pictures and videos of our adorable 100% Grass Fed Highland Cattle Follow Taysita Ranch on Instagram.