A couple nights ago in the negative degree weather our first calf of the year was born. The rest of the cows are not scheduled to calf until closer to March 1st when the weather should be a little milder. Last spring the bulls got though a fence and got in with the cows and this calf is a result of this get together. We did have the mother cow separated out because we start to watch the cows closely as calving time nears just in case there are any early ones like this. As a cow gets close to the time she is going to calf her back end, vaginal area, becomes loose looking, as if it is starting to dilate. Her utter will also begin to fill. My father and husband are experts at seeing these settle signs after working with cows for many years. Cows that they feel are close to calving we will separate from the herd and put in the calving barn. This barn is nicely bedded and protects the animals from the wind. This barn is not like the old style red ones you see on farms, but more like a shed that had large doors that open to the south the let the sunshine in.
The cow had her calf all by herself in the middle of the night with no complications. Even though it was very cold outside, being out of the wind and in nice bedding allowed the calf to dry off and in the morning my dad went to the barn and found it frisking around. My mother decided to name this calf Hot Cocoa since he was born on such a cold night and was able to warm up and thrive.