Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A rainy day in Calving Season

Well, here it is, the beginning of March, and we were successfull last year. Or should I say, the bulls were successfull last year.
You see, while Honey worked for "the top of the hill ranch" (bloggyname for the previous operation), we moved our cows to calve in late April-May. This was so that in the event of a calving emergency, I could get help from my honey. Because during their calving (March - April) I would not see my husband for days at a time, and the hired men were also way busy!
So, last year, we decided (due partly to the CRAPPY weather) that we would not AI (artificially inseminate) our cows, and just throw the bulls in early. This would group the cows together, and breed a good bunch of them to calve in March.
Well, we were successfull! We have had a total of 8 live natural (bred by the bull) calves so far in the past week or two. Thus, the picture! We are now in full calving mode. Meaning, that laundry will be sporadic! And, I will be scrubbing floors daily! You see, we are having awful, warm, cold, rainy weather. And NO, its never warm when it rains! Therefore, we have been warming calves anywhere we can.
The laundry room, the truck, the bathtub, if its warm, and dry, we've probably had a calf in there before. Last night, I had some running to do, picking up some corn stalk bales and getting fuel, etc. Guess who went with me? The girls, Squeak, and a bull calf. Yup, inside the cab. On my front floorboard getting all warm and toasty! Were the girls supprised, no. They know we had to warm him up, and its normal for them. Ahhh, the life of a country kid.
Then, we had a new houseguest in the laundry room before bedtime. This little fellow had fallen into a creek, and couldn't get out. And, a new guest this morning. (the picture is of 404's heifer calf).
We will, be DNA testing some of these 100+# calves to see if one bull is throwing all these big, dumb calves! He doesn't get to stay. Cause big calves have more problems getting here, and when they do, they are lazy and slow to suck (thus earning the title of DUMB, with a capital D). In addition, we might have a TWINNER. we have had 5 sets of twins. And this creates a whole nother group of problems for a ranch of our size. Usually, one or both twins are small and weak, or dead. So, if any of y'all have a small operation (20 cows or less) and would like to have twins, which can be more profitable in that setting. Talk with me in August. Because no matter what, we will have a mature bull to sell.
Crazy as it is, I LOVE MY LIFE! And the next two months will be crazy busy! Yeah, but we will make some great BEEF!


  1. WOWZA WOWZA WOWZA. love all the baby shots!!! & no, it didn't surprise me either :)

  2. All of the twins lived? Wow! We bought a set of twins (boy and girl), a couple years ago, we fill out the steers for market (grass fed), and the hefir was being sold at the same price since she was a twin, but guess what, she was fine and can have babies and is due to calf this month! Exciting! Hopefully all goes well for you with all those calves, wow!

  3. Wow - that's an amazing number of twins! When I was growing up one of my favorite things was having the calves come into the house and "helping" dry them off. Loved spring!

  4. This is the best time, calving! Love watching em play. Hope it warms up soon for ya!

  5. LOL No more bulls for us please, especially if they haven't already bucked! We've never warmed our calves, but we also don't have very much cold weather past the end of February. I don't know if I could do the driving to town with a calf in the floor board thing!

  6. I didn't grow up with cattle but I vividly remember little runt piglets, each in their own 5 gallon bucket in the laundry room- all getting bottle fed until they were strong enough to rejoin the rest of the litter. But we didn't drive them around with us!

  7. We don't start calving here until April- which is good because it was a -14 this past Wednesday Morning. How many cows do you have?

  8. I'm dropping by from "The Wife's" blog to say hi. I hope it starts warming up in your area soon.....I'm from WI so I have a pretty good idea what your going through.

  9. P.S. I'm following you and I'm adding you to my blog roll too.