Twin Calves

Stinking Creek News

I bet I don’t have to tell you that fall is fast approaching. I imagine you have already noticed that you have to get up before the sun does. If you are a school person probably the electric lights are already on to get up by. And where did the long evenings go as it is dark before we are ready for it?

Then too it is cool in the mornings, almost uncomfortably cool. A jacket or sweater would be appreciated but then it soon will be too warm for that. But don’t put it too far away because shortly after dark it will be welcomed. Sure enough it is fall.

Just this past week I was sitting on my Kawasaki Mule in the pasture for several hours in the warm sunshine enjoying the warmth, watching my favorite cow, Ruler, who was in labor. By three o’clock there was a nice big male calf. In fifteen minutes after blinking his eyes several times there was an effort to shake his head. A few minutes later there was definite effort to stand up only to fall back down. About that time I noticed a definite restlessness by Ruler. Oh, no, I implored, “not another set of twins”. She had had a set of twins not even a year ago. Animals that normally have single births can have trouble with multiple births. But sure enough the second calf was soon born that made four calves in less than a years time.

Last year she had a male/female set of twins. That is often not a good thing because a good percentage of time the female will be a freemartin, meaning her reproductive organs will not develop. What good is a female cow if she cannot have a calf or give milk. You cannot tell by just looking at her now or when she is mature. So I was not looking to go that route again. But sure enough it is a male/female set again. This brings on another set of problems because at selling time I must inform the buyers that there is a good chance she will never be a producing cow, no matter how strong she looks.

Another problem with twins is that one is usually bigger and stronger than the other. One is usually slower to catch on how to get its meal, so time has to be taken right away to assure each has a fighting chance. This extra care can last several weeks before one can relax. Even though it is exciting to have the extra calf there are responsibilities that go along with it.

No, I don’t have them named yet although last years got named “Alto and Tenor.”