Category Archives: CATTLE

New Cattle Working Pen

On February 20th our new cattle holding/working pen had progressed to this.

Hubby and I have been working everyday on the pen when the weather permitted.  We were delayed in the beginning due to problems finding the lumber we needed.  One of our neighbors, Mr. All, has a portable sawmill and sold us 20 of the 1 x 6 x 16 boards to get us started.  We then finally found a sawmill that took private orders and we bought 100 of the boards.  Most sawmills that we contacted don’t take private orders anymore and only sell to commercial builders such as mining operations.

100 oak boards from Bennett’s Sawmill in Lowmoor.

First row of posts are boarded and this side of the pen faces Little Mountain Road. We put heavy woven wire on first and then put the boards on top of that. We did this to prevent the cattle and calves from sticking their heads through the fence and breaking the boards. We’re learning from EXPERIENCE!!

Post holes are dug using a drill and our Kubota tractor. We are drilling into a bank of slate and sometimes had to use our big tractor and its front loader to press on the drill to force it into the slate and break it up.

Next row of posts are dug and post put in the ground with Quikrete.

And some bracing rocks are placed in the holes for durability.

This is the roll of wire that we placed between the posts and the boards.

The is the outside of the pen next to the main road.

This is the second section of boards and woven wire. We put boards on both sides of the posts for a sturdier loading chute. This needs to be sturdy because if the cows or calves are going to get honery getting on the truck, this is the spot where they’ll do it. They’ll try to back out, turn around or go over if they’re really anxious.

From this angle you can see the double layer of boards reinforcing the woven wire

This is another angle from the end of the pen to see the reinforced chute.

This gate is at the entry of the loading chute.The chute opens to an eight foot chute that narrows into a four-foot chute. The eight foot gate will swing from the narrow chute to the wider chute depending on what we are loading, cows or calves.

This four foot gate was then hung at the end of the chute where the trailer will load. You can also see another short gate about half way down the chute to help control turning and backing. Cattle are more apt to go into a wider space at the other end and that’s why we start with a 8 ft space that  narrows as you get toward the end of the chute.

This section is where the wider chute will be and the next we will board up. The posts are set and now we put the boards on. I might mention the posts are treated but the boards are not. We are using 3 inch screws to mount the boards. Once those green boards dry they’ll make the chance of coming out because the boards will shrink around the screws.

This is another section of the pen that we expanded from the old pen. We were experiencing lots of pushing and shoving when trying to separate 50 – 75 head of cattle at the same time. This section will have a gate that opens on both sides at the end of the pen toward the scale house. We can release them into the barnlot or if we still need to do some separating we can release them back in to the loading section.

Yes we have a scale house. The scales with in this building are state certified every year. We can watch the growth of the calves, we can check the weight of the cows or bulls and we can get an idea of how much weight is going to the market before they’re loaded on the truck.

This all I have for now but will continue the saga when the pen is completely finished and we can send a load of fall calves that we’ve weaned and been holding for the completion of the pen and hopefully a price increase.  I’m hopeful it will be completed this week!!!

Spring Calving Season

Our spring calving season began on March 13 with this little girl (heifer) and it was such a beautiful day.  

This little bull started our calving on the 19th, followed by the next two within minutes of each other. Now we wait for the 25 to come!!

Preparing for Spring

We’ve had some glorious three weeks of spring-like weather and now the cold and wind is back!!

Crocus are blooming and the jonquils and daffodils are up.

Crocus are blooming and the jonquils and daffodils are up.

Along with building a new cattle holding pen, hubby and I have been cleaning up around the farm while waiting on our lumber.   We had lots of trees come down during the fall and winter and we’ve been cutting them up for firewood and piling the brush to be burnt (if the wind ever quits blowing).  Hubby plowed the garden this week so if we had any cold weather (which we are experiencing now) the freeze and thaw would be great for the disking when we get ready to start the garden.

Starting to plow the garden.

Starting to plow the garden.

Dark rich soil for a promising 2017 garden crop.

Dark rich soil for a promising 2017 garden crop.

While he was plowing I started cleaning up the yard.  We have beautiful maple trees on three corners of the yard which provide us maple syrup in the spring and wonderous shade in the summer but in the fall and winter they shed their beautiful coats into our yard.  It takes lots of time and strong arms to rake it all up and pile on the compost pile.

Before the cleanup my yard and flower/rose beds are covered with leaves which protect them from the freezing cold.

Before the cleanup my yard and flower/rose beds are covered with leaves which protect them from the freezing cold.

 

 

 

After the cleanup, the yard starts looking like this before the  grass greens, the roses sprout leaves and the perennials show their pretty faces:

In front of the front porch after cleanup

In front of the front porch after cleanup

East backyard after cleanup

East backyard after cleanup

Front yard after cleanup

Front yard after cleanup

 

 

 

 

 

Now, all I have to do is the rose garden and the new perennial bed we made last spring.

We just have to wait for another warmup which we hope is on the way next week.  We’re also hoping that the warmup we had and this freezing weather doesn’t have any adverse effect on the honeybees because they sure were working hard to find food last week.

Spring means new life on the farm and we’re expecting 20+ cows to start calving in the next two weeks.  My hens have picked up on their production and I’m getting a dozen eggs a day now.

You just can't beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

You just can’t beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year.  Great brown egg layers!

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year. Great brown egg layers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rabbit does were bred this week and we should have kits around the 30th of March.  They’re all lops and last years babes were a huge assortment of colors.  I think the first batches this spring will go to new homes and the second mating will be meat rabbits.

Marigold visits Sebastian.

Marigold visits Sebastian.

Sebastian was glad to see his ladies.

Sebastian was glad to see his ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

Cleome waiting her turn.

Cleome waiting her turn.

Baby chicks and ducks will probably join us in April and our next big project is to get rid of the old chicken house which is in bad need of repair.

Chicken house is ancient and chickens should love their new abode which is a cinder block building that way back in the day was a hog house.

Chicken house is ancient and chickens should love their new abode which is a cinder block building that way back in the day was a hog house.

The hog house is bigger, has electricity and will be warmer for the chickens. We have lots of cleanup to do to the outside because the wild blackberries are surrounding it.  There's a no-freeze water spigot beside it and there's storage for feed on the inside.

The hog house is bigger, has electricity and will be warmer for the chickens. We have lots of cleanup to do to the outside because the wild blackberries are surrounding it. There’s a no-freeze water spigot beside it and there’s storage for feed on the inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring calving

2016 spring herd grazing along.

2016 spring herd grazing along.

Most of our morning was spent with our cattle, my daughter & son-in-law, and two very good friends.  We had 24 calves from this herd and they all received their baby vaccinations, pinkeye and tetanus shots, eartagged and banded if they were bull calves.  Everything went smoothly and only took about two hours.  We have some beauties in this herd and the last one was born last week.

2016 (3)Big Herd cows calves 2016 (6)Big Herd cows calves 2016 (8)Big Herd cows calves

After taking care of all of them we turned Clyde and Sam (new bull) in with the herd.  This is always a big chore but went quickly this morning since we had such wonderful help.  I hope they all know how much we appreciate giving us their time and muscles.

Now we watch them grow!!

Eddie likes to play with the little ones when they're just a couple days old.

Eddie likes to play with the little ones when they’re just a couple days old.

2016 (11)Big Herd cows calves

Beautiful New Stock

Our two-year old heifers will soon meet the one of the men of their life.  These girls have turned out so much better than we hoped.

Six of eight heifers born in March & April of 2014.

Six of eight heifers born in March & April of 2014.

The other two have got out and went back to a closer herd of cattle.  One may have gotten bred in March right before we sold one of our bulls.  We put the date on our calendars to watch since we try to keep close tabs on heifers when having their first babies.  The other one recently decided to take out some old fence and join that herd as well.  She and the other six will be back together in mid-June when one of the new bulls, Buckshot, will meet his first ever small herd. There are six Angus and the other two are Angus White-faced.

The cattle market prices have dropped drastically since last fall and now will be the time to add bought heifers but these were raised on the farm.  Their mothers are good milkers and their daddy came from a Holstein mother.  We can only hope and pray they are great nurturing mothers with lots of milk!

Uncalled for Work

Last week we had a visitor during the night that tore down some fence along the main road and left the scene.  The field where the fencing was damaged held 30+ weanling calves and Miracle.  Our neighboring farm manager came to visit to let us know about it on a very foggy cold morning and luckily the calves were on the opposite side of the field.  The driver did the damage and ran leaving what could have been a very dangerous situation especially for people going to work that morning and the bus full of kids going to school if the calves had got in the road. It was so foggy that morning that we could not see more than 10 yards in front of us but thankfully it only took about 30 minutes to repair.

We had just paid a fencing company to build this stretch of fencing in January due to the urgency of getting the calves in a secure field away from their mama’s while we waited for the right time to sale.  The mama’s needed a couple months of recuperating before their new babies arrived this month.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

The bottom two strands were broken and it would have been very easy for the 30+ weanlings to have gotten in the road and caused a more dangerous situation.

This was new fence that we paid to  have put in along the highway.

This was new fence that we paid to have put in along the highway.

The new post wasn't broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

The new post wasn’t broken off but the wiring was knocked off of it.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out.  Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

These are the tracks of the vehicle where it went into the field and back out. Hubby is sure it was a car instead of a pickup or more wires would have been broken.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

The insulating tubes were shredded on the bottom and fence tore off at the end of the tubes.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field.  This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

More tracks along the road leading to the broken fence shows that the driver went out of the road on the wrong side, over-corrected as he went back on the asphalt and went back on the wrong side and into the fence and field. This is where we found the broken antennae from the car and some amber light fixture fragments.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Black marks on the road in front of the field.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks heading to the broken fence.

Skid marks in the grass.

Skid marks in the grass.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

Broken fence wire hanging from the posts.

We were upset the fence was torn down but more upset thinking about what could have been a more disastrous situation.  I would hope that if it ever happens again that the driver would have the common courtesy of letting us know as soon as it happens!!

Babies on the Ground

Our calving season has begun and I’ll share some quick pics of the new babies.

The famous #29 that my daughter Heather has had a few issues with.  She's getting very old and will probably leave the farm this fall but she just dropped a beautiful black white face heifer!

The famous #29 that my daughter Heather has had a few issues with. She’s getting very old and will probably leave the farm this fall but she just dropped a beautiful black white face heifer!

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We’ve just started the season and we have two heifers and three bulls so far.  They’ve all been very small but you wouldn’t believe the energy they have.  They’re keeping their mothers busy keeping up with them and when they run across the meadow they thing they’re Super Babies!

 

OH NO!!

During our work this morning with Miracle we found out that Annabelle has pinkeye!!  This will be our first issue this year and pray it’ll be our last.  With a couple doughnuts and leftover biscuits we were able to get her up and treated her with LA-200 antibiotic.  Now we wait and hope she get’s better, doesn’t spread it to the other cows and especially to her little bull calf!!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Orphan 3 – Miracle

This little jewel is my 3rd orphan this year.  She is the second born twin and she might weigh in at 25 pounds!!

 

Baby Miracle 092015

Baby Miracle 092015

She is just so precious and had a really rough and amazing beginning into our world.  Her mother has had calves two seasons prior but never twins.  We knew she was having problems for over a week before Miracle was born.  She would go off to herself and was constantly twitching her tail.  As I’ve said before we try to let Mother Nature take its course and try not to interfere with the births of our cattle.  During the night on September 2nd, she was born after her twin and the long birth made her very weak and she did not have enough strength to get up to nurse.  When we found her the next morning we were positive that she would not make it.  Eddie took her huge brother to be disposed of and we left letting Mother Nature take it’s course.  Two hours over when I went to check on her I thought she was dead and let mom have time with her until Eddie could return to take her away also.  Four hours later we went to get her and Mom was off grazing, buzzards were settling in and I found her still alive but breathing hard.  I ran off the buzzards and carried her to some shade.  Mom had cleaned her up some but she was still not able to get up.   I came back to the house, mixed up some electrolytes (energy drink) and fed her a couple times the rest of the day with Mom hovering and not happy about it.  Still we didn’t expect her to make it but the next morning she was alive and Eddie thinks she may have nursed one time during the night but still so weak she couldn’t get up without help.  The next day Eddie had to be away from the farm and I ran vultures from her all day and Mom had decided to join the rest of the herd.  Anxious and knowing with a little help she would be okay so I loaded her up in the truck, brought her to the house, put bedding in the new “emergency calf barn” (that we never thought we would have to use) and bedded her down and gave her a pint of colostrum every three hours that day.  By the next day she was able to get up on her own but was still very weak.  This day I traded back forth between colostrum and electrolytes and by the end of the day I knew my prayers had been answered.

Baby Miracle four days old.

Baby Miracle four days old.

I kept her cleaned up and kept wiping her down with a light fly spray because the flies have been horrid on the cattle this summer and our neighboring farms are dealing with pinkeye and foot evil.  Miracle had been through enough without this drama!!

Well today is a big test!  We’re  reintroduced her to her real mom.  While out checking the cows yesterday, her mom was trying to take another cows new baby.  This morning we brought her to her real mom and placed them in a small barn lot together.  Mom wants her right off but Miracle can’t understand why that bottle looks so different! 😉  They’ve been together in a very small corral for about

If you look closely through the board fence you can see Miracle and her mom is standing directly over her.  I don't think she likes for me to be to close to HER baby!

If you look closely through the board fence you can see Miracle and her mom is standing directly over her. I don’t think she likes for me to be to close to HER baby!

five hours and we’re moving them into another larger corral now.  We’ll hold them together for at 48 hours and see how things go.  I’m more afraid that we may have waited too long and mom’s milk may have dried up.  So far, Miracle seems to be satisfied but 24 – 48 hours will tell the real story.  I’m keeping her crib ready just in case and praying Mother Nature will be kind.

Miracle in small enclosure and Mom near by.  Seems her belly is full!

Miracle in small enclosure and Mom near by. Seems her belly is full!

Her ears perk up when she here's her mom call.

Her ears perk up when she here’s her mom call.

This is  Miracle's mom and her breed is Gielbiev.  Miracle is her third birth.

This is Miracle’s mom and her breed is Gielbiev. Miracle is her third birth.  Miracle’s dad is pure Angus.

More updates to come in a couple days.  Prayers please!

 

Remember Annabelle

If you’ve been following my blog for very long you may remember a post of another orphan I had in April of 2013 and her name was Annabelle.

Annabelle was born from a hereford cow born on the farm and she was about 20 years old when she had Annabelle and died the day after Annabelle was born.

Annabelle was born from a Hereford cow born on the farm and she was about 20 years old when she had Annabelle and died the day after Annabelle was born.

Annabelle, orphaned in April of 2013.

Annabelle, orphaned in April of 2013.

Annabelle two years later is still spoiled rotten and follows us whenever we're in the field with her.  She loves bread and apples we take to her on a regular basis.

Annabelle two years later is still spoiled rotten and follows us whenever we’re in the field with her. She loves bread and apples we take to her on a regular basis.

Well, Annabelle presented us with her first baby on September 8th with a huge black/white face bull calf.

Annabelle's son trying to hide from me and my camera.

Annabelle’s son trying to hide from me and my camera.

What a beautiful face!

What a beautiful face!

This little boy can run like the wind and Mom has a hard time keeping up with his movements!

This little boy can run like the wind and Mom has a hard time keeping up with his movements!

I was worried to death about her the day he was born.  She was in labor most of the day and we try not to help with birthing unless we see a problem.  Well, by 8:00 p.m. that night she still hadn’t had him yet so Eddie and I went back to the house to get halter, ropes and pulling stick and headed back to the woods and it hadn’t already gotten dark.  When we found her she had already had him and he was up nursing and very alert.  Great job Annabelle on the your first calf!!!  We’ve learned that if you let Mother Nature takes its course is usually better for all involved.

New heifers

We’ve sold several really old cows the past three years and lost a few to the bad winters and their age.  We’re down to about 50 cows and needed to restock to keep enough money for taxes, winter feed and other farm supplies.  Eddie and Heather went to a sale and bought six cows that were due to calve within one month and as long as four months.

New cows are adjusting well to their new surroundings and already follow Eddie around when he has a bucket.

New cows are adjusting well to their new surroundings and already follow Eddie around when he has a bucket.

We kept eight of the heifers from the 2014 fall calves.

We kept eight of the mountain heifers from the 2014 fall calves.

The heifers are weaned and living in the herd of new cows for the next couple months.

The heifers are weaned and living in the herd of new cows for the next couple months.

Fourteen replacements are a good start and we may have a few more heifers we keep from the big herd.

Working the calves

Just a peek at what’s entailed in keeping our cattle and calves in good health.  I don’t know what we would do without our daughter’s help.  Farming is in her blood!

Now what??

Now what??

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Eartags to match mom and calf in the event of health problems or heifers kept on the farm.

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Baby shots to keep them from pinkeye, blackleg, lockjaw, and other diseases.IMG_2249 - Copy

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Castration to prevent inbreeding while on the farm.  Cattle start early!!IMG_2247 - Copy

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Mother’s waiting outside the gate for the babies.IMG_2245 - Copy

Our new squeeze chute is much gentler on the little ones and on the farmer working on them.IMG_2244 - Copy

Hard part is coaxing them through the metal chute when they can’t see their mama.IMG_2243 - Copy

Somebody got too close to the back-end of another.IMG_2242 - Copy

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IMG_2153First baby of our new cows and she’s a red angus.  Small but very frisky.

 

 

Prissy & George Update


DSCN6987 DSCN6986 DSCN6987 - Copy DSCN6984 - CopyThey’ve grown so much after such a rough entry into the world!

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We questioned whether Prissy would make it at all and then at three week she really came out of her self and then George got sick.  We noticed he was as playful and was having trouble getting up and walking.  We were told by the vet that lots of times when they are born and don’t get their mother’s colostrum in their system they will develop an infection that gets in their joints and can kill them.  Our vet, Dr. Wall, gave him a mega dose of an antibiotic and left us pills to dissolve in his milk for two weeks.  Here we are two months later and he is doing so much better.  Prissy outgrew him fast and is now about 75 pounds heavier and bossier than George but he’s coming on strong.  They’ve both tripled their birth weight, eating grain and grazing just like the other calves on the farm.  They still get a bottle every day instead of three bottles but that will come to an end when the bag of milk we have  is gone.  They love sweet feed and have started following our new cows and heifers around which is a great way to wean them.  I’m not looking forward to sending them to market in the fall but know it’s coming.  I’ll just make sure I’m not around when it happens.

Spring calving is almost over

We only have three cows left to calve this winter/spring and I wanted to share some adorable pictures of this years crop.  This years calves probably have the blackest coats and most prevalent markings of any we’ve raised.  They are all about the same size and very playful and curious!

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George, the orphan.  He takes a bottle about once a day and the rest of the times sneaks up behind an unsuspecting mama that doesn't realize two are nursing.  Of course, being behind a cow nursing leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to a nice clean coat.

George, the orphan. He takes a bottle about once a day and the rest of the times sneaks up behind an unsuspecting mama that doesn’t realize two are nursing. Of course, being behind a cow nursing leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to a nice clean coat.

Butterfly is her name.  Can you see it on her forehead?  She was born last week and we had another little one this weekend.

Butterfly is her name. Can you see it on her forehead? She was born last week and we had another little one this weekend.

Jumper and Butterfly

Jumper and Butterfly

IMG_0038I was interrupting her lunch and Mom was watching me very warily with a camera in my hands.

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Piggy and a friend

Piggy and a friend

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They all are about the same size except for the last three and they all run and play scaring their moms to death.  These last three pics are of the ladies that haven’t blessed us yet with their youngster and they have about two weeks left to finish out the herd.

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New orphan at the farm

The good news is that the baby is alive and well and about two months old. The bad news is that his mother died and we have no idea why. This winter has been the worst we’ve ever had for the older cows fighting amongst themselves. Hubby thinks this is what happened to “George’s” mom.
George is not a typical name I would give this adorable little guy but hubby thought it would be easy for him to remember and he uses it a lot.
George is still very skittish around most but is starting to come to me when I call. Of course, I get in his lot and talk and coo too him and am the one that feeds him most of the time. We will keep him in this small enclosure until I’m certain he will always come to me for bottle and feed or just when I call for him. We intend to put him in a small field with two yearling heifers in a few weeks.
The two heifers are beautiful as you can see and if you remember, one is Annabelle. Hubby wants to keep them close and have both come to him when called. If we leave them with their normal herd the older cows butt them away from the grain and goodies. He wants them to be in excellent shape when they are bred in the fall and give them the best start possible for their first calf.
These girls will be nice to little “George” and he’ll learn the ways of cows from them also. More updates as they grow, I promise!!

 

MEET GEORGE

Quietly waiting for his adoptive mom to show up with his bottle.

Quietly waiting for his adoptive mom to show up with his bottle.

Mom, is that you?  Why did you bring those dogs and cat with you??

Mom, is that you? Why did you bring those dogs and cat with you??

I'm not too sure about this but my tummy says otherwise!

I’m not too sure about this but my tummy says otherwise!

Yep, that's Mom and that's supper in that bottle.

Yep, that’s Mom and that’s supper in that bottle.

Boy, this stuff is good!

Boy, this stuff is good!

Thanks, Mom!

Thanks, Mom!

See ya in the morning!!

See ya in the morning!!

In with the new, out with old bulls!

Every few years cattle farmers have to change their breeding stock.  The bulls get too big or they may throw calves that just don’t suit.  This year we are sending to market our two big bulls.  They’ve gotten too big and several of the calves this year weighed 100+ pounds when they were born.  We like for them to weigh 60-75 pounds.  Big calves can cause problems for mom during birth and vets are not cheap!!  As it turned out the two bulls weighed just under 2 ton.  Lonnie weighed   2000+    and Caldwell weighed  1980 pounds.

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We raised one of our own that was born two years ago and his name is Clyde.  We bought another one from one of our neighbors and his name is Hammer.  Hubby is looking for a two year old bull to put with them since they are so young.

Clyde on the left, Caldwell in the middle and Hammer on the right.  This gives you an idea of how big the old bulls were.

Clyde on the left, Caldwell in the middle and Hammer on the right. This gives you an idea of how big the old bulls were.

 

So in with the new, out with the old and hopefully some happy cows come mid-June!!

Working the cattle

Tuesday morning was the first time in years that our cattle were worked and I wasn’t in on the fun.  Hubby did have some help though.  Our daughter and two of his friends came to take care of business.  This was for our spring calving herd and there was only two calves that had not had their calves yet but the work needed to be done now.  The other two will be taken care of later.  The work entails eartags for the moms that are missing tags and there were a lot of them.  The moms also get their tails trimmed and if any are having issues such as runny eyes(possible pinkeye infection), thin bodies (usually a symptom of worms) or limping (foot evil lurking around)  all of these are taken care of in the spring.  The calves get their ears tagged, baby shots, banding if they’re bull calves and general care for any thing else that might show up.  This may not sound like a lot but when you have 40 cows and 30 calves going through the working chute it takes several hands, patience, and time.  They had a great day without me and had it all done in about 2.5 hours.  I thought I would show you a couple pictures that one of the guys took during the process and a couple pictures of the herd.

 

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Calf in head chute to keep from hurting them.

 

Jimmy Taylor manning the head chute 05212013

Ears tagged before leaving the chute

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Little bulls become little steers

Babies scattered everywhere!

2013 Spring calves

 

JOB WELL DONE!!

Baby calves are arriving

2013 Spring calves

2013 Spring calves

Our spring calving season began mid-March and we’re almost done.  We have three more yet to calve and they don’t look like they’re “springing” at all.  We’ve lost four calves this year and one cow.  The cow was Annabelle’s mother but two weeks later another cow loses a calf and hubby uses a little of his magic and convinced her that Annabelle was her daughter.   All is well!!

Staying warm in the sun and off the wet ground laying on the hay.

Staying warm in the sun and off the wet ground laying on the hay.

Babies scattered everywhere!

Babies scattered everywhere!

Annabelle and her new Mom!  Just in time for Mother's Day!!

Annabelle and her new Mom! Just in time for Mother’s Day!!

 

 

 

Watching the new babies at play

Now that Annabelle has a new Mom, I thought I would share a few pictures of her and Gyp at  play.  They won’t be able to do this anymore because the new Mom doesn’t like any other animals near her baby.  Annabelle minds her Mom really well though she will still let her come to me for a good rub down.  Here’s the babes at play before the final adoption.

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DSCN3423They chases each other with Gyp nipping at her heels and Annabelle tolerated Gyp constantly licking her face when she could get to it.

 

Our little orphan, Annabelle

Two weeks ago today one of our older cows (25+ years) had been in labor for more than a day and finally on Saturday morning had a beautiful little red/white faced heifer.

Annabelle-one day old, tired, cold and just lost her mama.

Annabelle-one day old, tired, cold and just lost her mama.

Her Mom died shortly after delivery and we were lucky to find Annabelle because she wasn’t near her Mom.  We think Mom couldn’t get up to nurse her and the other cows came to investigate and Annabelle followed them looking for warm nourishment.  Hubby found her about 100 yards from her Mom, wet, muddy and very cold.  She was covered with the afterbirth film and mud.  Hubby came back to the house to get me and we loaded her on the back of the pickup and brought her to the house.  Luckily it was a very nice, sunny morning but still  cool.  I first got some regular milk we drink, warmed it and added about a 1/2 cup of Karo syrup and took it to her.

Calf bottle full, warm and sweetened.

Calf bottle full, warm and sweetened.

 

I didn’t have to work with her much at all to get her to take about a pint and then I let her rest.  I got a very warm bucket of warm with some baby shampoo mixed in it and proceeded to bathe her as best as I could and covered her with a heavy towel to keep the cool air off until she quit shivering.  She lay quietly in the yard and our other new baby, Gyp, decided to make Annabelle her new best friend.  She licked her and lay with her and nipped at her trying to get her to play.

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After another hour passed, she seemed a little more active and got up and walked around in the yard so I decided to try to get some more milk in her.  She was ready for that bottle and grab hold quick.  Gyp hung around to keep her mouth cleaned off (she’s so funny) and we got another pint in her.

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Then we prepared her a good warm bed in the small garage close to the house.  This building has electricity in it and made it convenient for those after dark feedings.  I filled a  clean five gallon buck with water for her and hoped she would find it and not knock it over and fill her bed with water which was a little below the bucket.  While I was preparing her new home, Gyp watched after her.

Gyp watching Annabelle in the yard while I prepared her bedding.

Gyp watching Annabelle in the yard while I prepared her bedding.

 

We fed her a full bottle in the mornings before I went to work and during the day Hubby would feed her 1/2 bottle every four hours and then I fed her again around 6:00 in the evening after I got home from work.  She is doing really well and growing so fast!

BUT. . . . . . . .

Another of the older cows gave birth to a dead calf on Wednesday morning and she is usually such a good mother.  Her calf was a red heifer and Hubby decided to try another trick we’ve used in the past.  He took the dead calf away from the mother and put Mama in a small barn near the house and gave her some extra grain.  While she was eating he took a large area of hide from the dead calf and tied it onto Annabelle’s back.

Annabelle with an extra coat & a little trick to find a new mom.

Annabelle with an extra coat & a little trick to find a new mom.

He then walked Annabelle over to the barn to meet a new mama (we hoped).  After some more grain, some more coaxing Annabelle to the new area of milk and lots of prayers, the new mama and orphan calf quickly took to each other.  Hubby urged me to stay away from Annabelle for a couple days to make sure the adoption would work and I can happily announce that Annabelle’s new mother is very protective of her and Annabelle seems to be nursing and nuzzling her new Mom constantly.

Annabelle's new mom

Annabelle’s new mom

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The only downside to this story is that Gyp doesn’t have someone to chase and play!  That’s another story in the making!

Calving season on Caldwell Farm

It is calving season on the farm now and we’ve lost three and have 22 on the ground and healthy.   We usually have baby calves that weigh between 50-70 pounds at birth.  Yesterday we had a first time mama give birth to one that Eddie says is every bit of 125 pounds and Mama is doing great.  She has plenty of milk and is very attentive to the baby.  When found yesterday afternoon Eddie was shocked and had to work with him for a couple hours.  Then I went to help and we gave him some supplemental milk to keep him warm and give him some extra strength.  We think maybe his back legs were numb because he couldn’t keep them up for a long time.  Mama kept cooing at him and cleaning him and encouraging him.  Eddie went to him three more times before we went to bed and tried to give him some more milk but he wouldn’t take it.  This morning  the big boy is up after a long struggle and doing fine and nursing alot.    We’ve lost three calves this year to what we think is a bull that throws monster babies and he’s going to market in the fall if not before.  It’s just too hard on the mama’s and two of the mama’s will have to be sold so as not to have anymore babies.  Here’s a few pics of Mom and son.

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