We have raised beef cows for about 15 years. I have learned a great deal about them in that time.
1. All cows are female
2. Bulls are male
3. A hiefer is a young female that has never had a calf
4. A Steer is a castorated male
When a cow has a calf they tend to go off on their own and go through labor alone. After the calf is born the cow stays by its side for about 24 hours, not even leaving to eat. After that other cows "volunteer" to watch the calf while she eats. If there is more than one new calf the mothers rotate babysitting duties. If you approach a new calf (when mom isn't around) it will let you pet it. Because its mother has never told it not to. After she finds out that you have been there she will tell the calf to run from you. We have been able to tame a calf by hand feeding it.
One time several calves were playing king of the hill on a manure pile. One of the moms was ready to go to pasture. She called her calf three times and it did not come so she left without it. She hadn't gone very far when the calf noticed she was gone and took off. It was just what I would have done.
When a cow has twins (which doesn't happen very often) it is almost always a boy and a girl and the girl is usually sterile.
Once we had a hiefer in labor and she was having a hard time. We had pinned her up in the barn and the other cows gathered around her and gave her instructions and encouragement.
I love cows, at least most of them. I tend to hate the black ones, they are mean. We raise Polled Herefords they are brown and white and generally have a very sweet and gentle disposition.
Speaking of dispostions, our bull's name was Curly. He was sweet and he was nosey. He always wanted to be in the middle of everything. Even though he was sweet we were always respectful of him. He was huge and had no idea how big he was. He could trap you against the barn and never feel it. We always knew who Curly was "dating", he ate next to them. He ate in a different spot every week. The cows teneded to eat in the same spot every day. We knew that in nine months his "date" would present us with a new calf.
The Third's a Charm
4 years ago