Witness the miracle of birthing calves at the New York State Fair
Ice cream, yogurt, cheese and milk -- your favorite dairy foods all begin with the birth of a calf.
You have a chance to watch the miracle of birth up close in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center during the 2013 New York State Fair.
Six local farms have volunteered to put six expecting bovines in the spotlight over the 12-day run.
The farmers and Cornell University veterinarians and students take turns in explaining the birthing process to a crowd of onlookers.
The goal is to birth at least three calves a day. If you can't make it out to the Birthing Center, you can check in by following the progress on a webcam that Cornell University set up at the Fair.
As of Friday afternoon, Sunnyside Farms of Scipio Center in Cayuga County was celebrating the birth of two happy, healthy calves.
The first calf was born around 11 a.m.; The second just a couple hours later.
Neil Rejman, of Sunnyside Farms says you can usually tell when the expecting mother is ready to go into labor.
The expecting mother will walk around as long as it takes her to feel comfortable in front of the spectators.
"They start getting a little uneasy. They walk around, they sniff the pen. The tail comes up," Rejman says.
He adds that they aren't shy, so much as curious about their new surroundings.
"Every cow is different as far as the length of birth," Rejman says. "Half an hour to an hour can be the shortest, labor can be up to 5 or 6 hours."
A cow's pregnancy lasts about as long as a human's, 9 months.
Baby calves usually weigh about 80 or 90 pounds.
As many as 200 volunteers have a hand in making sure Mom and baby are happy and healthy.
Farmers, Cornell University veterinarian students and veterinarians are volunteering to help with the birthing process and postpartum care.
Sunnyside Farms will be back again tomorrow. Sunday's fairgoers will see another set of cows from another local farm.
The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is behind the Iroquois Village if you're entering from Gate 4.
If you're walking around the exhibit, you'll see the calves sleeping in huts around the perimeter.