Meet sweet baby Solo, the adorable first calf of the year! [Video]

May 30, 2023

Our first calf of the year has arrived at last and we’re excited to share a couple of videos of him - including one of his very first few moments out in the world!

You’re going to love hearing Farmhand Vera tell you that she named this sweet little bundle Solo.

There’s been a household obsession with Star Wars lately… but it is adorable and so fitting as he waits for playmates to be born :)

Calving season is a joy and it’s one of those calendar events that we eagerly anticipate and count down to each year.

At One Straw we take our queue from nature and start calving in May, when the deer fawn, and the grass is lush with new growth and the days are warm and the world feels so abundant with new life.

With birds swooping over the fields and bees buzzing everywhere, it’s such a welcoming time for these little bundles to enter the world and join the farm.

The first video is such a special moment that Farmer Martin was able to capture for us – Solo and his mama Velma just moments after he was born!

Even we, as the farmers, don’t often witness the actual birth of the calf.

We spend time with our animals regularly, for both our well being and theirs. And our visits fill with greater expectation as we see a Mama cow starting to show signs of an impending birth – especially when their udder really starts to fill up just before the calf is born.

And we always hope to be lucky enough to witness this beautiful miracle of birth and welcome a new life in the first moments.

But cows have 24 hours each day to spend as they will, and they refuse to follow our schedules. Haha.

So this moment is special and the capturing of it on video involves a rare concatenation of events. Not only did Farmer Martin arrive on the scene moments after the baby was born, but he also had his phone with him.

And most importantly (and unexpectedly) he heard my voice in his subconscious, prompting not so subtly – TAKE A VIDEO! Lol.

(I do want to give you fair warning if you’re uncomfortable with birth scenes. This is not the actual birth, little Solo is already fully born, but he is still pretty slimy as new babies tend to be.)

You’ll see in the video that Solo is probably less than five minutes old. When a calf is first born, the mama immediately cleans off their face with her tongue to make sure the nasal passageways are cleared so they can breathe.

Then she gets right to work with her warm, rough tongue, cleaning the rest of their body. It’s like a scrub down with a big fluffy towel right after a nice warm bath and helps them to dry quickly so as not to get chilled.

All the licking also helps stimulate the little guys into action. I’ve been licked by more than one rough cow tongue and while I appreciate the loving sentiment, it encourages me to move, too!

The mama cow also makes little mooing sounds to encourage their baby to get going. It’s a sweet sound they only make during the first few hours of their baby’s life. Soon Solo will be struggling to his feet and searching for sustenance.

Velma is a good mama. You see her looking up at Martin, keeping an eye on him, but once reassured that he’s not a threat she goes back to work. 

After watching for a few minutes, Martin felt comfortable that Velma would get the calf going in the right direction and so he left her to manage. We respect their natural space. 

Besides, you can see she has plenty of help from her older sister, Little Blue, who hasn’t calved yet and is putting her nose in it with some sisterly advice.

The second video is of Solo when he is 48 hours old. 

This time Farmhand Vera (4) is with Martin, so she joins the narration.

Like the good calf that he is, he stayed right where his mama put him, all nestled down in a bed of tall grass, so that Vera and Martin had to really search for him!

You can see that Martin had already given him his identification ear tags the day before and that he’s thriving in the warm sun with a belly full of his Mama’s rich milk. Life is good!

Now we wait expectantly for calf number two.

I wonder if the next one will be named Leia or Duet? We’ll have to ask the oracle, Farmhand Vera…

Charlotte Frederickson

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