Country Girl Through & Through
I'm a country girl from the western part of Virginia in a small community of New Castle/Craig County. I've lived in Craig all my life-eighteen years with my parents and siblings and forty + years with my wonderful husband.
We have two children, a boy and a girl, and two grandchildren, all of which we love very much. We live on a 500 acre+ farm that has been in my husbands family for over 200 years. We are raising beef cattle, chickens, rabbits and a couple dogs.. We grow pretty much all we eat or harvest from the farm and I can't imagine living anywhere else.
I love to create, craft, quilt, read, write, decorate, crochet, candlewick, bake, bow hunt, cook, garden, farm animals and walking/hunting in the woods. I love sharing our home with family and friends.
I hope you enjoy the posts that I enter on my blog and hopefully will be helpful and/or fun to all that read it.
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Tag Archives: heifers
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.
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!
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.
Well, Annabelle presented us with her first baby on September 8th with a huge black/white face bull calf.
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.
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.
Fourteen replacements are a good start and we may have a few more heifers we keep from the big herd.
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.
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!
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.