We've wondered all year if she was bred. She's a beef cow and they are much, well, beefier looking than dairy cows. Bella has appeared sort of fat for over a year now. We had no idea if there was a baby in there or not. You can have a vet come and do pregnancy checks at your farm, but for a herd of four mamas that didn't make much financial sense.
Last Thursday our first beef mama calved. A little bull calf, in the late afternoon. We assumed the other beef mama would come next and then Winnie (our milk cow). We assumed Bella wasn't bred and wasn't going to calve. We talked about giving her one more year, one more chance. We talked about how we would probably need to slaughter her next year if she didn't produce any babies. An animal that size is a big animal to feed and not get milk or calves or beef in return. But yesterday after Nick came home from working on the tractor he checked the barnyard to see if Winnie was in labor. She wasn't but our sweet Bella girl was licking a wet little heifer calf. She was just starting to pass the afterbirth. He must have missed the birth by minutes.
It gives us such pride to see this calf. To see years of our farm work come to fruition in this one baby girl named Annabelle. This week marks the first week in which we have had babies born on our farm that weren't chicks or ducklings. We have worked with piglets and lambs and calves and kids for several years now. We have bought and adopted many cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. But the bull calf born Thursday and Annabelle born last night mark the true beginning of our own herd. This gives us great pride.