Where Da Cows At?

Feeding and checking cows is part of our daily routine here at the farm.

I use the term “our” very lightly. The farmer and Peanut usually do this. I spend this time cleaning and scrubbing the house.

I use the terms “cleaning” and “scrubbing” very lightly. The definition of those words to me, lately, is burying my nose in a book called Fall of Giants. Hee hee.

Today, however, the farmer and Peanut had the privilege of my presence on the feed run. We started at one of the pastures where we keep 8 heifers. We’ll take a little jaunt back to middle school and call them the C team. These girls aren’t bred, so they’ve got a ways to go before they’re on the line.

Um, ladies…??

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(Cue the music)

dum-duh-dum, dum-duh-dum, dum-duh-da-da-dum,

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dum-duh-dum, dum-duh-dum, dum-duh-da-da-dum…

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Texas just can’t help but lick her lips in anticipation! Corn chops, molasses, distiller’s grain, blender pellets…If that doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!

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Uh…ya got a little somethin’ on your nose, there?

We passed by the A team on our way.

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The farmer’s uncle has some beef cattle we keep any eye on. My husband is usually extremely observant, so it didn’t shock me at all to hear him say, “I’m thinking we’ve got a baby. That gray cow is hiding in the trees.” I had to look for a whole minute before I even saw her. She was gray, OK??

I really wanted to show you this Brangus because I get such a kick out of how cute they are. Pointy heads and big ol’ floppy ears. I don’t have a full Brangus calf to show you, but if I did, you would see a bovine rabbit. That’s what they look like to me, anyway.

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If you got between her and any calf, she would cease to be cute very quickly. I’m pretty sure this breed takes pleasure in mowing humans to the ground. They’re great mommas because they’re fiercely protective.

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I’m a little concerned about this pairing. I’m thinking someone got switched at birth.

Finally, we drove over to check on the cow trying to hide and saw a little gray blob on the ground. The farmer and I were worried. It got down into the teens the night before. That’s awfully cold for a little one to come into the world.

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But not for this little toughie!

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He just might be one of the cutest calves I’ve ever seen.

So glad I went along for the ride today.

Miles’ Night Out…Revisited

If you’re not familiar with the Miles Night Out post, here’s a refresher: http://wp.me/p1lzEK-2J

This post could also go along with Some Things I’ve Learned.

A few mornings ago, the farmer was walking through the field and noticed two little heads peeking above the grass. Twins! The only problem was their color. Jersey’s are not red or black. It was then that the farmer realized that the Lutalyse had not conquered all of Miles’ activities.

Interesting tidbit about twins that I learned: If you have twin heifers or bulls, everything might be just fine with both, although I did read that some could have reduced fertility or sterility . However, if you have a bull/heifer pair, the bull will be able to reproduce, but the heifer will not. She’s called a freemartin. Only 8% of heifer/bull twins don’t include a freemartin and the heifer will be able to reproduce.  So, basically, you have a bull and a steer. Right?… Yeah. Because we all know that I know exactly what I’m talking about.

They are pretty stinkin’ cute, though. Don’t ya think?

A few days later, he noticed that one of our other Jersey mamas was off by herself (read: in the calving way), so he kept an eye on her most of the day. At one point, he found her with her back down the hill, which is bad. Vety,vety baud. When any cow, not just a bred one, gets her back down a hill, it causes her to get bloated and she can’t get back up. If the fact that she’s like this goes unnoticed, she will die. Why? I do not know.

Fortunately, the farmer saw her and hurried down there to turn her around. She was calving and having a hard time because of this behemoth.

The farmer had to pull him. This is no Jersey calf, my friends. This is a strapping young lad that looks just like his Daddy…Poor momma. Jersey calves are very rarely this large.

The moral of this story is we learned a lesson. The farmer now knows when to administer Lutalyse (we’re gonna’ try a month after if this ever happens again) and I’ve learned that twins are not really something you want in dairy farming.

Miles has also helped us create a new breed: Jerfords.

Oh yeah, and the farmer texted me this afternoon with a picture of a baby calf. Another one of Miles’ progeny.

I sure hope he had fun….

The Dairymaid