Calf Daycare

Calf Daycare1

This is a pretty common scene in the morning at feeding time—one cow with a passel of calves. Even though it may look to some people that this cow had all those calves, she’s actually just the babysitter. All the mothers of these calves went to feed. Art and I joke about this scene when we see a babysitter cow: “Hey! She had (# of calves with her) calves!”

Calf Daycare2

Mother cows oftentimes take turns staying back with a bunch of calves while the other mother cows go to feed. Eventually she’ll go to feed but as soon as we start rolling out the first bale the herd will migrate to the bale bed pickup and we’ll see one cow on standby keeping track and close watch over a handful of calves.

Calf Daycare3

I happened to bring my camera along to get some pictures while feeding cows when we saw this daycare operation–a cow to the east of where we fed standing guard over a handful of baby calves.

Calf Daycare6

Art and I were in between feed the cows seen in the background just over the hump along a dry creek bed. Several calves were curious about the old hand pump along the creek bed in the picture.

Calf Daycare4


Calf Daycare5

This is a lot like daycare. Eventually the cows come back to gather up their calves and the babysitter gets a break to go to feed herself. I’m sure some people would think I’m a little weird but watching the behavior of livestock is something I enjoy. As a mother, I always notice similarities regarding motherhood among other species and find it interesting.

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