On our ranch, we take usually take each cow with their newborn calf to the barn when there is snow on the ground so the calf can dry off and get a good start on nursing. Therefore, we must move them from the calving field to the barn, which can be up to ¼ mile. With our newborn calves weighing an average of 80 to 100lbs, how do we move them?
We use two different methods depending on the cow, what time of day and/or the weather. Our first choice is our Polaris Ranger with our calf trailer as long as there isn’t too much snow. Once the calf is in the trailer, he/she is secure and the cow can follow while watching and smelling the calf.
Sometimes, a young cow may not follow as well as the older cows, especially during the middle of the night so we will then use our calf sleigh! Yes, our calves get to go sledding as a newborn! The sleigh works well as the cow can follow along side.
There are a few times each calving season when these two methods won’t work. Sometimes a young cow won’t follow either method, so we will take the calf to the barn and go back to get the cow in separately.