Calving with native breeds

One of the reasons we originally decided to get pedigree Dexter cattle was because they are a native UK breed. This means they are well suited to the British climate and able to live outside all year round even here in the North Pennines.

However, as they’re always outside that means they have to calve outside as well. This has previously gone smoothly for us and we try to ensure a late spring calving so the weather should be better.

As luck would have it, this has been a really dry and warm spell so last Friday evening was the perfect time for Daisy to calve. I’d barely switched off the computer from the day job and her behaviour started to change which is always a strong indication.

She managed the whole thing completely unaided as always although I had to watch closely because the whole process fascinates me. Even though we’ve had 9 calves before over the years, there is something special about it.

Isn’t nature wonderful?

Daisy has great mothering instincts and the new born calf immediately got properly washed all over.

The next challenges for the new born calf are getting on their feet and suckling for the first time. It is important that the calf gets to suckle soon after birth because the first milk has lots of antibodies and nutrients that they need for a good start in life.

Thankfully these events all happened relatively quickly and smoothly so we can be sure that this is a healthy calf and he’s got the best start possible

Figuring out how to get to the milk

Before you know it, the mother and calf are wandering around the field as if that’s nothing unusual – apart from the curiosity of the other members of the herd of course.

This is a bull calf and, with some assistance from social media users, Daisy eventually decided on the name Isaac or Ike for short. The initial letter “I” being a decision we made some time ago so he follows on from Elvis, Frank, Garry and Hattie

Learning to moo for the first time

Please leave any comments or questions and I'll respond as soon as possible

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.