Newborn animals on the farm

We’re rapidly approaching Summer, but it’s still spring like on the farm with new babies appearing by the day.  Both cattle and sheep are dragging out the usual lambing and calving season.  Usually lambing for our farm is March, with calving mainly from the end of January to early March.  Obviously the timings were a bit off this year, especially as there were a couple of calves born way back in September!

Newborn animals on the farm in spring - Bubbablue and me

Lambing

Sheepwise, N’s 10 pregnant ewes were some of the last to give birth.  With my brother in law looking after N’s sheep along with his own, leaving them til last means his are done by that stage.

So the last few weeks we’ve had a few random sheep in the back field – sick ones, or the one of N’s that wasn’t pregnant.  The odd balls basically.  But gradually N’s lambs and their mums have been brought into the field.  They’ll stay there until they’re a bit bigger and can be moved out with some of the others in a busier field.

N loves them being in ‘his’ field.  It means every morning he’s meant to count them up to check they’re all there. This usually means him stopping me driving off to school in the mornings so he  can count them before we leave.

I just love seeing the little lambs jumping all over the place enjoying themselves.  We have a real mix in there too – a couple of black sheep, one with a white lamb, the other a black lamb (both called ‘Lamby’ by N, he’s nothing but original).  Then there’s another black lamb with a white mother, while the others are all white.

The other day a new lamb and mother were put out in the field. The lamb was only 10 minutes old, and was so cute. It really had no idea what it was doing, I guess being born 10 minutes previously and then straight away getting put out in the field makes them even more dozy!  It soon found its way to feed and is happily getting stuck in with its new friends.

newborn lamb 10 minutes old

newborn lamb 2017

Calving

The field is now also home to a few cows being turned out.  The troublesome ones – those that are usually harder to calf, stay indoors for a bit longer, or those they want in with the bulls.  The ones in the field are those who’ve only just calved, or are due any day.  It’s nice to see them roaming around and they really do look well looked after with shiny coats despite not having been outside for the winter.

The other day N and his cousin were playing in the garden and I’d wandered out to take some photos. Then we heard an almighty bellowing from various cattle and they all went galloping off up the field.  I’d never seen them do that, they’re usually chilled out until weaning time.  So I followed them across to see one had just given birth and the calf was still on the ground.

Next thing the cows who’d run over started prodding the calf with their noses and feet, then pushed it around across the grass.  I was a bit concerned about this poor newborn calf, but the mother wasn’t being aggressive in pushing away the others like they usually do.  Eventually the others wandered off leaving only the mother and another cow with the calf.

newborn calf and cattle

newborn being prodded by cows

I could see the calf’s ears flickering, the other cow gave one more nuzzle then moved away leaving the mother to lick her calf and try and encourage it to stand. It finally wobbled up, staggered a bit in that cute newborn way they have, then nuzzled around its mum before sitting down again.  Later on I saw it standing and feeding so it obviously got the hang of it pretty quickly.

newborn calf happy and feeding

It was so interesting seeing the way these cows obviously went over to help the mum encourage her calf – something I’d not expected to see. Although it looked violent as a bystander, it’s great to see how nature works when the animals do it all themselves.

I did feel for it though, only a couple of hours after it was born and there was a downpour, so the poor thing probably had a bit of a shock.  It’s happy enough now wandering around the field with its mum.

Lambing and calving time is one of the best times on the farm – it’s lovely to see the newborn animals and their mums all turned out in the fields and provides something new to learn each time.

Have you been to any lambing events this year?  Have you ever seen anything like this before?

Dear Bear and Beany

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8 thoughts on “Newborn animals on the farm

  1. What an exciting time to be on a farm! I have so many fond memories of going to lambing as a child – including one memorable moment when my mum tried to pull of a bit of ‘straw’ off of a lamb. Turned out it was the remnants of the umbilical cord! I can imagine how excited N must be about it all – love his choice of name too, Max is currently equally unimaginative with his naming strategies, we have a Rabbit, Dog dog, Monkey, and Sheep. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…The Pregnancy Diaries: Week 34My Profile

  2. How lovely to see all the newborn animals on the farm and so interesting to read about the other cows going across the field to try to help the newborn calf. I remember seeing a calf being born when I was a child and it was fascinating to watch. Glad that N is enjoying counting all the sheep in his field and making sure they are all there 🙂
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…Following footpaths and discovering new places to exploreMy Profile

  3. I love lambing season mainly as we get to watch from our work windows (we seem to be surrounded by farms!). I didn’t ever realise before working there that there would be so much to lambing season. I’ve never seen calving though but how impressive is it that they encourage how to feed!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…Exploring Oban in ArgyllMy Profile

    1. I’d not get much work done if I sat near a window I could see things out of (other than sky like I see from my desk).
      I couldn’t believe the cows. Last year I spotted a calf that had just been born but it was just the cow and calf, the other handful of cattle were elsewhere in the field. So interesting thoough

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