Spring at Stonehaven


Spring is my favorite season, particularly when spring is as wonderfully cool as this spring in Kansas has been. Trees and flowers bloom, gardens grow (well, other people's gardens) the grass is green and new life is everywhere.

Our first calf ever was born on April 3, 2016, so we have been eagerly awaiting our first calves this year since the first of April. April passed and we moved into May. We hoped we'd have a few calves by the time the Miami County Spring Farm Tour rolled around, but still no babies.

Mama and first calf of 2017Finally, on May 17, we saw the first little, orange fluff ball in the pasture—from a completely unexpected source. One of the Custer State Park yearlings we'd bought in November 2016 had a baby! Bison heifers don't usually breed until they are around 2 years, so if you buy a yearling heifer, she will most likely breed the summer of her second year. The heifer (now a cow) that calved should not have bred until this summer if she were truly a yearling.

Although she was one of the larger yearlings we bought, she would have been small for a 2-year-old. Generally, you would want larger animals for breeding, but if a small cow calves every year, that is a huge benefit, because she will consume less food than a larger cow does. It remains to be seen how her calf will progress, but it certainly looked happy cavorting around the pasture when we checked a couple days later.

We think it is happy because it now has two more calves to play with. The most recent calf appeared to have been born that very day because mama was still keeping it somewhat separate from the herd.

Birth and rebirth...spring is wonderful!