We had a list of priorities when choosing which breed of cow to bring onto the farm. They needed to be of good temperament, live on scrubby land (ie coastal!), to be good calvers and to be a native breed. Our Red Devons have proved to be all of these, again calving was relatively easy.
The heifer that lost her calf a month early last year carried to full term and had a lovely bull calf this year. She was extremely confused by the feeding aspect of things – her udder was so swollen and painful and she didn’t realise that allowing the calf to feed would help the situation. David had to top the calf up with a bottle of colostrum whilst the cow grazed nearby before bringing them into the crush and holding the calf in place to allow him to feed. Once this had the desired affect, the mum was happy to let the calf feed with no help from us.
All the others were born stress free with no help, the only odd thing is we had a 3 week gap again at the end of calving before the last calf was born – to a different cow though. Maybe Tim is worn out at the end of his time with the girls and has a rest before romancing the last one!