My favourite job on the farm is checking cows after dinner. In the evenings the cows are pretty mellow enjoying some grazing. The calves are usually pretty curious and ready for some fun.
I like to do a head-count of all the calves (14 = ) and observe that each one looks bright and content. I check to make sure no calves are stuck on the wrong side of the fence. The calves usually follow me for a bit and a few come up for a chin-scratch.
I observe and listen for any upset cow or calf signalling someone isn’t getting enough milk. I like to go up to each cow individually, call them by their name, give them a little scratch and ask how their day has been. It’s a good chance to assess any udder issues or observe if anyone has any mobility problems. I also use this as an opportunity to monitor any previously identified issues, like Patty’s calf who had a limp was walking fine now. I also check on the pregnant cows and heifers (soon-to-be first time mamas) that will be due in the fall and make sure everyone looks healthy.
Everyone was calm and peaceful last night on my walk so I followed the cow path back to our home