Today’s Newborns

Today, March 1st, we had 14 births!  Here they are in order of birth.  (Each write-up is directly below the picture.)

Doug and his dad headed out to the snowy, winter-wonderland at 5:00 am. At 5:45 am, I crawled out of bed and joined in the fun, to bring the pairs into the shelter of the barn. There were six calves already born by now and with the six inches that it had snowed overnight, they needed to be brought in.

S61X with her baby finally standing.

Who knows which of the six were born first, but this calf seemed like it had spent the most time laying in the snow. He did not want to stand up and after we got everybody else in, we milked her into a bottle and tubed him. This means we used an Esophageal Feeder to put the colostrum right into his stomach. It took him nearly all day in the barn to recover, but finally at 2:00 pm he was walking around and nursing on his own. The sire is black angus.

This red white face bull was born in the early morning. We did not have to transport this guy because late the night before we had noticed she was thinking about calving and we brought her in. The sire is Hereford. He was unassisted birth and he nursed unassisted.


This heifer was also born sometime early this morning.  Unassisted birth and she nursed unassisted. The sire is Hereford.


This heifer was one of the six brought in in the morning.  Unassisted birth but we had to help her nurse. The sire is black angus.  This is the mothers ninth baby.

U6D and her black heifer.

This heifer was born early in the morning and her mommy is a first time calver.  Unassisted birth and she nursed unassisted.  The sire is black angus.

V32B and her bull.

This is the third calf for this black brockle face mama. After being transported into the barn, he nursed unassisted.

It snowed all day long!

536C moving to a different pen.

At 5:00am, the guys noticed this girl was calving. At 6:50 am, after all the calves were tucked away, we walked her in. We were concerned she was taking too long so we wanted to check the presentation of the calf. So we checked her out and found the the baby was full breach and was trying to come out bum first. Its never good when you get gloved up and ‘go in’, and the first thing you feel is a tail! Doug was able to carefully bring the calves back legs up, without hurting the cows insides’. Once it’s back legs were up then it could come out backwards. The calf came out nice and easy but it was dead. My husband says when it is full breach like that, sometimes in the stress of the birth the calves legs can sever its umbilical cord from the placenta. So that was sad. The mom licked the baby for a while to see that it was not going to come to life. It was a bull and it’s sire was Hereford.

MFCZ and her baby in the sled.


MFCZ super very-not-ideal udder.

This is an ideal udder.

Short for ‘Mom’s Favourite Cow’ was born at 10:00 this morning.  It was an unassisted birth. Because she has such poor teat conformation, we had to bring this pair in to make sure the calf nursed.  The sire is black angus.

S17Z and her big baby coming out.

When we were out bringing in MFCZ, we saw that S17Z was calving. After coffee break, she still hadn’t calved so we brought her in to check it out. Turns out it was a very, very big calf that we had to help her have. (This means we pull on his front feet and pull him out.) This calf probably weighed somewhere around 125 pounds. This is big for our herd. Most of our babies are around 95 pounds, with the heifers calves being smaller. This bull calf was sired by one of the neighbouring ranch bulls, either a Simmental or Shorthorn. He was born at noon.


At 2:20 pm, 581U had this black bull calf. It was an unassisted birth and an unassisted nurse. The sire is black angus.

T600B with her big black brockle face bull.

T600BWe had noticed this cow off by herself at around coffee break. Later in the afternoon, she was still stomping around so we decided to bring her to the barn. She did not have a waterbag yet but was definitely working on calving. Finally at 5:30 pm, our oldest daughter went out and she had the front feet and head out. Our daughter broke the bag so the calf could breath when needed, then she gave it a little pull. When I checked the baby bull an hour later, he still had not nursed but I got him standing again and hopefully he’ll get in there.

R8B with her 3rd calf, a baby bull who looks just like her.

When I went out to check the herd at 6:30 pm, there were two new babies. This bull calf was doing very well and had already nursed. I think his sire is a Hereford, but it is hard to tell.

39P and her super tiny little heifer calf.

The second one I found out there was this little heifer. Emphasis on the word: little! This calf must only weight 50-60 pounds, she is tiny!!! She could be tiny because her mom is pretty old! This is her moms thirteenth baby. Maybe she’s just running out of the ingredients needed to make a calf. I don’t know. But it is alive and it was standing ready to get in and have a nurse. The sire is Black Angus.

It has been snowing ALL day! Well, it did let off a tiny bit when we went in for lunch, but the second we were done and outside again, it started back up with a vengeance!  There is still 60 cm of snow on the lawn!  Toooooo much!

I’m so happy that the day has almost come to a close!  It is 10:01 pm and Doug and our oldest are getting their winter garb on, to go do the last check of the night.  We’ll see if I there are anymore babies to report.

It’s 10:52 pm and they are back in.  There was one more new baby out there.  P127A had a red bull calf.  Again we are not sure what the sire is because it is not our Hereford or Black Angus.

P127A and her new arrival.

The two have been brought in and are snuggled into the straw in the barn.  Here’s hoping we don’t have too many at 5:00 am cuz the barn is full! Good night!

~Erika Fossen~


6 thoughts on “Today’s Newborns

  1. Tony Balisky says:

    Awesome wright up.

  2. All so beautiful! As I was reading I started to wonder how big the barn is to keep all the littles in away from the snow, and then you said it at the end that it’s now full hehe when do you move them back out? We raise sheep and goats and we just finished our birthing season this past Saturday. Due to weather in Ontario being a bit milder this time a year than over there, we moved the moms and babies out in the open stalls (3walls) when babies were 4-5wks old — some were older, we just waited to most of them to catch up on gaining weight and speed (to dodge our curious Great Pyrenees dogs). I love you blog, gives me such a nice insight about cattle and provides a different perspective about birthing 🙂

    • 2erikas says:

      Thanks for reading Laura! So interesting to hear about your life in Ontario and you have inspired my next blog! I will write about how long they stay in and where they go from there 🙂

  3. Shauna Roberts says:

    Hi Erika! Its Shauna Roberts from Valleyview. I stumbled on your blog and love it! It’s so neat to see what you and your family are up to so far away in BC! Your last post has got me excited about our calving season which starts in April. I enjoyed the pictures and all the info! I look forward to more, take care and maybe I’ll run into you at Keddies again some time!;)

    • 2erikas says:

      Hello Shauna!! I’m so glad you have stumbled upon us! Thank you for reading! Yes it is so fun to see all the babies, God Bless as you begin! 🙂

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