Protecting what is Precious

Savor Sister Linda here this first week on April 2018. Let’s talk about Nature’s Wisdom today through the lens of ranching.

On our ranch, we don’t have a calving “season” – where breeding is controlled and the calves arrive at pretty much the same time; and when they come, they do so under the supervision of humans. There are many benefits to this way of ranching.

And there are many different ways of ranching;  all of which have their pros and cons. On our ranch, we let the cows and bulls work out their love lives on their own, and so they calve all year long.  I’ve been fascinated learning about how cows give birth on wide open range land, and where they can show both domesticated as well as instinctive traits.

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One day old calf tucked under the brush by her mother for visual protection.

When a cow calves on open range, she does a few things to protect her young.  I’ll save you from the photos of the mother eating the placenta – which among other things reduces the scent that might alert predators. She then moves her young a short way a way, and visually hides it under cover of brush.

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Calves are as vulnerable as they are adorable at one day of age. We found this little girl tucked under the brush and took her and her mother back to the corrals near the ranch house to provide her a bit more protection. This photo was taken May 11th, 2015. 

Fast forwarding to present day, this little calf has grown up and is now a mother herself. She has a wonderful udder – exceptional really – with a rich capacity to provide milk to her young. In the photo below,  she is nursing her own calf (the darker calf on the left) and a second calf (on the right in photo) whose mother is ill and not producing milk. I’ve been asked why her back legs are tied; it is so she doesn’t kick. This photo was taken the second day she was nursing the 3-4 day old calves at the same time.

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The same year, May 2015,  as the calf, we discovered this little foal hidden under brush, as well . Leading the mare with a rope, the little one follows in tow, back to the ranch for extra protection.

I don’t have a recipe offering today – but did find myself eating cookies and milk while I was writing ….. so consider making your favorite cookie recipe and pair it with a cold glass milk. There are so many “milks” available these days.

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful  April. We’ll meet again in May!

 

Categories: Sonoran Native | Leave a comment

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