Tag Archives: heifers

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!!

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!

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.

Grace Has Gone to Heaven

This winter has been much, much colder than normal for Virginia, I think.  I can’t remember having a whole week of negative temperatures in our area.  We haven’t had an abundance of snow like I thought we would have (knock on wood) but the wind and cold temperatures have taken a toll.

Two weeks ago we lost one of my favorite cows.  She was a fifth generation  cow raised on the farm and though she was a headache until she had her first calf.  She was kept for breeding stock along with six other heifers and would lead those other girls through every hole in the fences or make her own wherever and when ever she wanted.  Hubby threatened to send her to market so many times.

Grace and her calf grazing.

Grace and her calf grazing.

Grace with her first calf to  survive.

Grace with her first calf to survive.

Grace with the herd.

Grace with the herd.

She lost her first two calves because her udders were so large.  Her great, great, great, grandmother was a holstein dairy cow and they can sure produce some milk.  All of her daughters were good milkers but Grace’s first two babies only lived about four days and we think starved because they couldn’t get the udders in their mouth and Grace was too unruly to pen up in a shed to milk.  We had planned last year to send her to market with the fall calves but something happened and she never made it on the truck.  She delivered a beautiful black angus heifer in early September but it took a toll on Grace.  The calf was sucking her to death and she lost a lot of weight but kept that baby of hers well fed.  During the big snow week before last, we think one of the other cows may have butted her down and she couldn’t get back up and froze during the night.  Hubby found her the next morning.  That’s the luck of farming beef cattle!  Just when you think you might get two steps ahead of the game, your forced to take three steps back!

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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