The Waiting Game

Anjouliette Lil is the first to calve in our herd this year and we’re eagerly awaiting the calf, sired by Ex-Vee Hawkeye.

Did you know there’s many factors behind the length of gestation for cows? Including:

  • First calvers generally have shorter gestation.
  • It’s believed breed has the most influence on gestation period.
  • European beef breeds (including Maine-Anjou) usually have a longer gestation than British beef breeds.

Our herd calves all year round as this works best for selling beef direct to customers. Apart from a due date, we know the signals our females are preparing for calving and Anjouliette Lil is displaying these with udder development and the softening of the vulva. But how do we know the calf is coming in the next 24 hours?

Well the pelvic ligaments will completely relax. The ligaments between the tail and pin bone on each side will be sunken (or feel loose on a beefy cow), meaning the cow’s body is ready for birth – it’s usually around 12 hours after this that a calf will be born.

We selectively breed from sires with low birth weights, easy calving ability and desirable traits to work in conjunction with the dam’s many attributes. For now we just have to play the waiting game until Anjouliette Lil calves!