The Ladies

The life of the cows is geared towards having calves. On average, about half as many calves are born each year as there are adult females in the herd. Some cows turn out to be infertile, but they still play a part in the social life of the herd. Generally, it is the middle-aged ones that are the most dominant, but all cows will give way to bulls if there is any competition for food.

Calves are born all year round and if you’re lucky you may see a newborn calf, or even an actual birth, although the latter event is very rare to witness.

When she’s about to calve the cow moves away from the herd and into a wooded area, and returns maybe twice a day to the calf’s hiding place to feed it. After a few days the calf follows mum back to the herd. It is hard to spot when a cow is about to calf as they only “fill” very late in the day and their udders don’t drop.

You may see the amazing process of the new calf joining the herd. The other cows are very interested and sometimes mum has to push away “aunties” who might want to adopt or poach the calf. Sometimes a rough-and-tumble results and that may be the origin of the story that the “king bull” inspects the calf and may reject it.

The cows have fine, lyre shaped horns, ending in sharp points. Unlike the bull’s horns, they are not designed for head-on fighting. They are sharp and can inflict nasty stab wounds.

Cows can live to 15 years. Some of them have their first calf at 3 years of age. While they can conceive within three months of calving, it can take a lot longer so compared with farmed cattle they are not very fertile. However, records over the last 160 years show that at the herd level they have not lost fertility, in spite of their inbred state.

The life of the cows is geared towards having calves. On average, about half as many calves are born each year as there are adult females in the herd. Some cows turn out to be infertile, but they still play a part in the social life of the herd. Generally, it is the middle-aged ones that are the most dominant, but all cows will give way to bulls if there is any competition for food.

Calves are born all year round and if you’re lucky you may see a newborn calf, or even an actual birth, although the latter event is very rare to witness.

When she’s about to calve the cow moves away from the herd and into a wooded area, and returns maybe twice a day to the calf’s hiding place to feed it. After a few days the calf follows mum back to the herd. It is hard to spot when a cow is about to calf as they only “fill” very late in the day and their udders don’t drop.

You may see the amazing process of the new calf joining the herd. The other cows are very interested and sometimes mum has to push away “aunties” who might want to adopt or poach the calf. Sometimes a rough-and-tumble results and that may be the origin of the story that the “king bull” inspects the calf and may reject it.

The cows have fine, lyre shaped horns, ending in sharp points. Unlike the bull’s horns, they are not designed for head-on fighting. They are sharp and can inflict nasty stab wounds.

Cows can live to 15 years. Some of them have their first calf at 3 years of age. While they can conceive within three months of calving, it can take a lot longer so compared with farmed cattle they are not very fertile. However, records over the last 160 years show that at the herd level they have not lost fertility, in spite of their inbred state.