The New 2021 Heifers

Every two or three years we try to replace old cows with new heifers. Over the last year we kept eight of our raised on the farm calves and purchased eight from a farm down the road. They are all black angus and all about the same size and age, 15 -18 months old.

The heifers raised on the farm made up with the new one quite well. There’s usually a animal hierarchy but so far no of these have been quite bossy.

We pulled out nine of them to go ahead and breed back in June with one of our new bulls because they were the oldest and heavier of the stock.

They are beautiful and should calve in late April.

We made the mistake of not having that group far enough away from the ones that we wanted to wait for a bit until they put on at least another 100 – 150 pounds. Well, the young bull took care of business sooner than we expected and he decided to venture through a couple fences and took care of business as soon as one of the younger heifers came into heat. We’re not sure how many he bred before we got him out but should know toward the end of May. There have two of the younger to come into heat and thought they were far enough away from the bulls BUT one heifer didn’t want to wait another year and went through a property fence and up the road to another farm. Everyone thought the cow in the road by herself belonged in that farmer’s field and was turned in directly to their bull. We got her back home two days ago and now we wait and see!!!

Heifers being fed in the Maple Ridge field this morning.
Eating and resting

Heifers are cows that have never been bred or had a calf so come spring we will have to keep a close watch on all 16 of them. First time calves can be troublesome so we will see what spring brings forth!!!

New Bulls on the Farm

Hutton Bull
Second Hutton Bull

Our breeding bulls purchased in 2014 have outgrown their herds. Their size was a problem and one was throwing a lot of twins and the other was missing opportunities!

One of our neighbors, Andy Hutton, had some beautiful young bulls ready to put with our breeding stock and he gave us a great deal on two and hauled them to the farm which was about distance of 3-5 miles away.

We have two herds that will come into their breeding heats in June. These guys will be put with our four year old herd along with two of our more mature bulls, Mick and Arby. Each herd will have a young bull and a mature bull. In about 10 – 11 months we’ll see what kind of calves are on the field with their maams!

Spring herd that Mick and one of the younger bulls will sire.

Spring Cattle Move

Today a job that should have been done a month ago was completed.  Weather changes and the fact that Eddie and I have been sick for a week prevented us from pulling a bull from our fall calving herd.

Stormy weather prevented the cattle work for at least a month.

Buckshot has been with this herd since November 30th, 2017 and we normally only leave the bulls with our herds about three months.  Moving a bull away from a herd is not always easy but today it was a piece of cake!!  A bucket of feed, a cattle prod and competition down the lane will work every time.  He stood at the gate with 46 cows and calves and all the master had to do was walk him to the front of the line and when he herd his brother bulls down the lane he came through the gate pretty as you please!!  He is now in the bull lot with the other two bulls showing them whose boss or so he thinks!!

Buckshot and Samson back in the bull lot together again for about three months. Arby is in there with them but he would rather eat his “Cheerios” first before confronting big brother!

Now, our mountain long field is opened up and full of the Fall calving herd and hopefully all of them mother’s have been bred.  There’s 23 cows and 23 calves grazing our part of Little Mountain today and it will be wonderful sitting on the front porch watching them graze but not today!

Our Fall herd is enjoying some very precious green grass this afternoon.

The three bulls are playing nice for the moment!

I’m back in the house out of the wind nursing my sinuses and trying to get well!! We’ve been sick since last Tuesday and a week is too long to not be out on the farm or at least on the front porch!  I’m so tired of being cooped up when the sun is shining.  The wind is still blowing so I mustn’t take chances of being out too long.

 

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!

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.

IMG014 barn quilt_farm bldgs_first hay 2012_crops 048 03232012 digital camera pics 023

 

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!!

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