Growing Calves

We went to the pasture over the weekend to check on the cattle. We saw most of the herd on a distant hill, but none close by.  We got out of the truck, and while I was fiddling with my camera, Harland announced in his mock ominous tone, “We’re not alone”.

A lone cow peered at us over the rim of a nearby hill.

Soon, she was joined by her companions: another cow and three calves.

I hadn’t seen the calves in a while, and was impressed with how much they’ve grown.

Cow with Calf - Early September

Most of our calves were born in March, and back then, they were relatively small, weighing from 70 to 80 pounds.

Newborn Calf- March 14

Newborn Calf - March 14

By late June, they had more than doubled in size, and weighed about 200 pounds.

Calves - Late June

Summer has been good for the calves. Between the good pasture grass and their mama’s milk, they now weigh about 500 pounds.

Calf - Early September

Calf and Cow- Early September

Two Calves and Cow- Early September

The cattle will stay out on the summer pasture until round up in early November. Until then, the calves will continue to eat grass, milk from their mamas, and grow even more.

For more posts about the cattle, click here, and scroll down.

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——>Up Next: What is located in a town with a population of 9, but attracts 75,000 visitors over a 3 day period? The Sparks, Kansas Antique and Collectibles Flea Market. Let’s go shopping!

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23 comments to Growing Calves

  • I am so tickled to have found your blog, I love your photos. I grew up on a very very small farm, 15 acres, but I had cows and was in 4H and I LOVED everything about having land around you. We had barn cats, house cats, chickens, rabbits, a turkey, etc. The usual trappings of a small farm. Now I’m just thrilled to have a yard and neighbors who can’t see into my house!

  • Vivian

    I know next to nothing about cows (except those calves were cute when they were small), but how often do you check up on them? How much land do they graze on? This sounds silly, but do you worry about their safety – like lightning, or eating toxic weeds or something? I wouldn’t make a very good farmer, I’m afraid. I’d be making pets out of everything in spite of myself. 🙂

    • Suzanne

      Hi Vivian,
      The cattle are at the summer pasture now which is about 200 acres. We check up on them every week. Somehow they know which are the bad weeds and don’t eat them. Even though it is pretty remote there, they are pretty self sufficient and can take care of themselves so we don’t worry about them much there.
      Thanks for visiting.

  • Hi Suzanne! Love your cattle photos. I laughed when you said Harland said “We’re not alone.” I love how you can just see the top of the cow’s head! 200 acres…WOW! that’s a lot of space for them to roam! So..every cow eventually goes to market right?? Oh..and then do you sell all that meat to a company, and then that company butchers them and then sells to the grocery stores?? or is the butcher just the middle man..As you can see I’m a little clueless.

    • Suzanne

      Hi Bonnie,
      We keep the cows (mamas), but the calves we sell every year. The calves born this March will be sold in January 2011 at auction, and the buyer will feed them up on grain for 90 days (for good beef marbling), and then they will go to a packing plant and um…well…you know, they’ll end up in the grocery store. Our cattle operation is what is known as a Cow/calf operation. We raise cattle for the calves they have, and then sell the calves every year.

  • Oh my goodness! They really look good! they are so curious. I took some pics of baby caves this past spring.Not as good as yours though.

    • Suzanne

      Hi Peggy,
      They are really adorable when born, and kinda fearless too. Their moms teach them to be afraid and cautious about people.
      Thank you for visiting.

  • They are looking good! It’s amazing how quickly they grow up and how big they are when they are still nursing!

  • Howdy from another Kansas blogger! Saw ya in the comments at TK and I’ll click on anyone’s sig that mentions the prairie. Great stuff!

    -bd

  • Shailaja

    They look cute with their ear adornments! I wonder what information is recorded on those tags.

    • Suzanne

      Hi Shailaja,
      The numbers on the calf’s eartags represent the year they were born, and the number of their mother. Everybody gets a number so we can keep track of who’s who.

  • They look good. Many times I wonder how they can grow so big with just grass. Oh mama’s milk also he he…

  • City Girl to Country Girl

    So cute! I love cows!

    City Girl to Country Girl
    http://www.citygirltocountrygirl.com

  • Doe of Mi.

    Oh boy that looks sooo inviting. Would love to be out there
    walking among those wonderful looking cows and calves.
    Isn’t it amazing how a calf can grow up in a year and it
    takes a human lots of years? Interesting thought!!

  • Doe of Mi.

    Geez, Suzanne your right!!! Hadn’t thought of that. Bummer.

  • Suzanne, thank you so much for answering my questions about cattle. Seriously!! because I really didn’t know…so now it makes total sense and I get it! I like to understand these things because I think it’s interesting! That’s one of the reasons why I love your blog. You explain some of the workings of a farm….for instance…your hay baling post…I loved it…I’ve seen plenty of bales all over Pennsylvania as you can imagine, but…I’ve never seen it done…and now, thanks to you, I “get it” now!

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