Today, I share the life of a 3-day old calf, told from her perspective. Hopefully it will give you a better understanding of the good life and care our cows have.
I am just 3 days old and I live at Date Creek Ranch.
This is what it looks like where we live. It’s pretty rocky and I get lots of exercise following mama around but there are lots of good things to eat and interesting things to see. We have lots of pastures and they are really big (500-2800 acres) so I have lots of room to move around and I know we will be moving to a new pasture really soon. Kimberley says it is really important to give the land a good rest before we come back to graze again.
First thing mom does each morning, is graze. She loves grass, shrubs, weeds, and flowers. It is important for her to find as much food as possible before it starts to get hot. While she grazes, I hang out with my friends. Mom is the babysitter today so other mamas can go farther up the mountain to find a better selection of food.
After she is full, I get to drink mama’s yummy milk. Her milk is very nutritious and helps me grow into a big, healthy calf. I only drink milk now but over the next few months my mom will show me what to eat and I will begin experimenting. I will spend all of my life out here on the desert with my mom, my family group, and the rest of the herd.
Then we have to walk to water, which is sometimes a mile or two away. Sometimes we go to the creek for water and in other pastures Kim and Stefan pump water in a pipeline from headquarters into a trough. It is really sweet, clean water.
Afterwards, it’s nap time. This is when mama finds a nice shady spot and chews her cud. We cows have 4 compartments in our stomach that helps us digest our food. Because of our unique digestive system we are capable of eating fibrous materials that other animals cannot eat. After the food has been swallowed and ferments for awhile, it is regurgitated, chewed, and deposited into another compartment. That is called chewing cud. You have seen cows lying down with extreme contentment on their faces, while they continuously chew, swallow, and regurgitate.
Around 3 or 4:00 p.m., mom gets hungry again and it is time to head back into the hills to search for some more grass and other plants. At the end of the day, we all get to rest again. Wow, it’s been an exciting, adventurous day! I got to see rabbits, squirrels, a bobcat, and my first rattlesnake. Several coyotes came by to check us out but mom gave them a threatening look and they left. Sometimes we hear a mountain lion and mom gets nervous, but they don’t bother us very often. Two or three times a week we see Kimberley ride by on her favorite horse checking on all of us. Fortunately my mom is very good at taking care of me. She keeps me fed and makes sure I am safe.