A Baby!!


Yesterday Alex the wee Dexter heifer began to spend just a little too much time staring out into space, standing in the corners, as far away from the others as she could  get.  Then she started holding her tail up high.  I had a very distinct feeling that things were going to start happening very soon so I invited her into the barn and shut all the doors so it was dark and calm and three hours later she had a wee calf. Quite the smallest calf I have ever seen in my life.  I know that intellectually I knew the baby would be small but this is really small –  smaller than Ton (who is locked inside on calving days).The baby is all black and vigorous.

alex dexter

(I checked with the man who bred her and the first time she had actually been with the bull was in July of last year so this is a full term calf. He had not realised she had been bred so quickly. Alex turned two last week so her timing is perfect).

Poor little Alex got a hell of a fright when this little wet bundle arrived behind her and she leapt up and bawled at it, making darting frantic scary motions towards the wriggling mess. It was breathing and blinking and already struggling to get up.  A very strong miniature calf. But the new mother was irate. Queenie was the same so I was not worried.  But this was my cue to shut up all the doors and windows (Lady Aster was trying to peer in) and make a quick exit stage right.  Alex was a new mother, had no idea what had just happened and  was in a panic, she needed some space and time to sort herself out. Humans would only make things worse for her.  I crept back in twenty minutes later, peered around the corner and she was licking her baby and calling to him (or her).

I still do not know the sex yet . Alex is very protective and I will not be milking her, she is much too shy so she will raise her own calf.   We will find out if it is a heifer or a bull calf today I hope – when I open Alex’s door and let her take her baby out into the sun. Then I will take some photographs for you. I checked them at 5.30 and baby was in yet another space (obviously getting up and down which is good) mother was lying diagonally before her and both were alive  and well. When Alex stood up to watch me I could see that baby had been drinking too so they are in good shape.

The father of this calf is a low line hereford/angus cross.  But next time Alex will be allowed to visit with Carlos the Tiny my Dexter bull.

Wonderful though don’t you think?. One down, two to go and an excellent result. A healthy ridiculously tiny calf.

lady astor

Also, yesterday I had my first lesson making croquetas.  And though we had to call Inaki’s sister in Basque to ask about consistency I thought they turned out ok. We pulled old barbed wire fence out of the hedge, worked in the vegetable garden and shifted both Sheila and Tima and Tane back out into outdoor quarters.


As you can imagine dinner was very late!

And, more good news, I think that Poppy is starting to belly down. She began to look like she was  pregnant yesterday.  Or it could be my imagination.

And today will be a much calmer day I hope and I have more of your work spaces to look at.  I meant to get on with that yesterday but that day sure got away on me!

If I get lots of good baby shots i might post an extra special post this afternoon – so stand by!

Much love,



55 Comments on “A Baby!!

  1. Can’t wait to see pics you proud Grandma you!! LOL I just love baby anything! We would be just as crazy when our Penny pig had her litters, and don’t get me started on baby goats! hee hee

    • Baby goats are cute. The sun will come out today so I will open their big doors just as soon as we get above freezing so they can get into the warm sunshine.

    • Yes. i made plain ones to begin just to get the hang of it and tomorrow we will make some with a really nice spanish style ham we found. This weekend i will get ham out of the freezer and cook it up so Inaki can have lots of ham in his last week.. c

  2. Do you know about the tape method of estimating weight for baby calves? it’s a special tape measure that’s wrapped around the top of the hoof. We used to do this when we had a registered angus herd. If you keep records of weights, it’s a quick way to estimate.

    • I would estimate just under 40 pounds going on Ton’s weight. No I did not know about that way of estimating- though I have a very protective mother in my hands so i will not be getting near the hoof of this calf for a while, I will find the info and keep it on hand for other calves though.. thank you..c

  3. If it’s a little boy, he won’t be a Bobby, will he – too small for beef? Will you keep him for breeding stock, or sell him or something? I hope it’s a little girl… A girlfriend that Carlos the Tiny will be able to reach 🙂
    Good work, Alex, the first of the year’s babies

    • This is a beef breed, though they are reasonable as a milk cow as well I needed a beef line to replace Queenie. So if it is a bull calf he will be part of the beef herd. But a heifer would be so much better! c

  4. Congratulations!
    That was an early surprise. Baby number 1 has arrived.
    Hope the croquetas were delicious!
    Quite a busy day.

  5. Alex, I hadn’t started knitting booties yet 🙂 Good Girl for getting on with it and sorting it all out on her own. Off to google croquetas now. Will be back for 1st photos later. Laura

  6. very cool. I love it when they pop out alright. I have an image of a tiny calf, so excited to see what s/he looks like.

  7. Oh Happy Birthday to the little wee calf! Hopefully Alex will calm and mature with a calf – your gentle nature and ability to think like a cow will help tremendously.

  8. So exciting!!!!! You were so right at sensing something was up!!! Or about to pop out, that is!!! We are still on piglet watch! This is Ellie Mae’s 5 day being past her labor date!!! Weird! Not sure what to think of it!!!

  9. Such good news! Your instinct was spot on. Can’t wait to see the pics. 😀

  10. Was wading through the mess in my inbox and finally came upon this. What a surprise! Glad mom and babe are doing well and that the birth was an easy one, for your sake. Good on Alex for waiting until the weather improved, eh? Looking forward to meeting the farmy’s newest inhabitant.

  11. What delightful news first thing this morning. I’m happy all went well and the weather will be cooperating. Now you can take a deep breath and enjoy a new baby. I just can’t imagine it.

  12. Oh, so exciting! Babies are always the best. I am so glad you were watching for the telltale signs and were able to move her back into the barn without any problem. She is skittish, yes, but it was sounding as though she was getting closer to you — a trust issue, I guess. Oh, hope she lets you get up close and personal with her babe — nothing better than photos of a new baby. Good stuff! Hope you have a wonderful day ~ Mame 🙂

    • Bless you, Audrey! What’s her name? Grands are the best! Much love, Gayle

  13. What a lovely event, happening just as it should. You’re so perceptive to realize the need for quiet and privacy for mama and baby. I’m looking forward to photographs whenever you can manage them. 🙂

  14. I have a specially soft spot in my heart for Alex as she is a loner. This mornings news stings the eyes. A serious drama that has a happy ending. Yes! There is a God!

  15. So exciting and you were right on target all along with your suspicions. Happy that at least one baby came while Inaki is here.

  16. Wonderful news and welcome to the newest farmy baby! So happy this was a good surprise and a smooth one at that! Those croquetas look delicous.

  17. Oh, I cannot wait to see the world’s tiniest calf! One you could actually hold in your lap…if only Mama will let you! 🙂

  18. Wonderful news, I am glad all went so smoothly. I hear a ping, it might be another post fro you, Celi… I am off to find out!

  19. Good News and such a surprise! – I’m glad that all went so well – oh, and you are so patient, Celi! Congrats and all my good wishes…

  20. Well boy was I wrong saying Alex had time to go yet! Dexters are amazing mothers, even first timers and the babies are really just the tiniest things. They are spry and curious though, seeming to squeeze out of the smallest places. I had to chase two of our calves back in the the herd Sunday morning before church as they had decided the hay field all full of red clover looked much more fun than hanging out with the herd. Naughty babies! Congratulations to you on your newest arrival.

    • She is a wonderful mum and Txiki is the most vigorous calf I have ever had, right after birth she was up and is growing like a weed. These are WAY different from my other big dairy cows – you were right about that!! c

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