Sparky the Wonder Calf

The biggest news from the Geis Ranch this week comes in a small package. You see, last year we bought a few more heifers to breed and add to the cow herd. For the most part, we have Angus and Hereford cows, so when my folks went to the sale barn I suspected that is what they would come back with. And for the most part that was the case, however, one stood out from the crowd a little bit. She was not the normal red, black, or white, but speckled with black and white spots all over like a paint horse.

Needless to say, I was a bit surprised at the choice of this heifer. Without any background, deciding her breed was a pure guess, but she seems to be a Canadian Speckled Park. However, she checked out to be reproductively sound so she stayed in the herd. She was bred to a black Angus bull, so we had no idea what to expect in for a calf color. We all took bets, but I thought it would just be mostly black, since a black coat is a dominant genetic trait.

Then last week, the heifer finally calved. My mom Cindy was the first to find her with her new baby bull calf, who was up and suckling. And his coat pattern was no disappointment.

Sparky the calf resting in the barn

Most certainly not a pure black calf

He was a lively little fellow, but quite friendly. After giving him a day to bond with his mother, we tagged him (although I’m not sure why, it’s not like he needs another unique identification). Being such an interesting calf, we named him “Sparky”. He gets so much attention now that you can go out and play with him like a dog in the pasture, scratching him behind the ears and petting his belly.

Sparky getting his ears scratched

He prefers being scratched behind the right ear.

I have to admit, although I was a bit skeptical when Mom first bought that heifer last year, it turned out to be a pretty cool deal. Now we’ll just have to see what kind of calf she has next year when she is bred to a Hereford bull.

-Jake

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