Thursday, January 30, 2014

A calf is born

The first few pictures were taken through the windshield.
We had 2 new babies in the heifers by noon today. The first one we had to assist mama with the birth. She and baby are doing great in the barn.

This is how we like our heifers to calve.

She will usually be walking around kinda humped up with her tail out and back legs spread. A very unnatural walk! I should say uncomfortable look! lol! Then you will see a bubble. Like a water balloon sticking out. She will also lay down, get up and be looking for a place to have her calf.
When the baby is all lined up, she will lay down, usually flat out and start straining.

The front feet will start to come out. Followed by the head. That's what we see here. The calf has the amniotic sac over its body. If it stays on its face, it will suffocate, and you do have to pull its off its face every so slow and carefully as not to spook mama.

Once the head comes out its just a couple more pushes and the calf is out. Here's that progress.

I am now outta the pickup. Just in case the sac doesn't come off the face.

The calf is now out. Mama gets a good look at her new baby. And the sac came off its face. YEA!

She stands up, turns around to look at this little wet thing that's shaking its head and sneezing mucus out of its nose. Starts licking it to get it clean and up.

We get her tag number. Hers is 239. Get a tag for baby. In this case its tag will be 39. Tag the calf, check to see if its a bull calf or heifer.

Its a heifer! Mama is taking good care of baby. Baby is doing good. Time to go home and take a nap!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Feeding Cows

We now have 9 calves in the heifers, and 3 calves in the cows! YEA! So, the 24/7 begins.
Last night when we went to check heifers there was freezing rain. Freezing rain/snow at midnight. Woke up this morning to feed and had snow. Crunchy, crispy snow. It wasn't cold at all. Right at freezing.

Freezing rain.

Loading hay.

Replacement heifers.

1st calf heifers.

We keep our best saddle horses close to the barn in case we need them to get a cow in. Day or night.

I also feed the quail and pheasants around the barns.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sorting Cows

Yesterday we sorted all the cows. We sorted on foot in the alley. Good cows to the right, grannies to  the left. We put a green ear tag in the grannies so its easy to spot them on the go. For what ever reason the cows were a little pushy in the alley! You just stand your ground, put your hand up and say NO - BACK UP! They do respect your space. Most of the time! Very rarely do I have to holler at the cows, so when I do, they respect my wishes! HA! Cows are herbivores. They might kill you, but they wont eat you! LOL!
We sort off the grannies, the smaller cows and anyone that is on the skinny side. We do this so there is less competition for hay when we feed. And the granny group gets a little extra hay and TLC.
We've had pretty steady temps. Highs 30*, lows 25*. Been a skiff of snow every morning.

Cows coming into the "driveway". On the far right looking at you is Nerdly. The best cow on the ranch! She is 10years old. She was one of my bottle babys. Loves kisses and grain!

Down the driveway to the alley.

Cows waiting to go to their winter pasture and get fed.

One of the feed trucks. It used to be a fire truck. Modified to a flatbed. Its very smooth riding on the back.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Not Good?

We've been having such gorgeous weather, I decided to go poke around in the yard. My Snow Drops are starting to bloom. They usually do this time of year. These little precious flowers signify the down slope towards spring. I also have daffodils popping outta the ground! Not good! Winter doesn't usually hit here until mid February! I hope my daffs don't freeze out! :(

Snow Drops

Daffodils starting.

So, here's to Spring!
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today - around home

Our weather has been perfect. It's been near 50* during the day and in the mid 20's* over night. The ice has melted and the frost is outta the ground. I sure hope it stays this way. We could use some moisture though.

The full moon is out all night and setting in the morning when we head outta the house to feed.

Waiting for the feed truck. What a good cow.

We have been chlorinating the water tanks in the heifer lots. So, while the chlorine was cooking the gunk outta the tanks I took the girls for a hike along the creek.

Spook likes to chase birds. Here she is looking at the little birds. ha ha.

Here comes Two! She was rat hunting in the trees!

One of the early calves. 

I have milk all over my face.

Yea - so what about it?


The turkeys.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 10, 2014

First calf heifers

Feeding first calf heifers. A first calf heifer is usually a 2 year old that is getting ready to have her first calf. They are still out in their winter pasture. In a few weeks we will bring them all in to the calving lots. When they come into the lots they will need 24/7 supervision. We will slowly move their feeding time to about 10 - 11am. So hopefully they calve during the day. The theory behind this is the sugar levels in their bodies. They eat alfalfa, about 15 pounds per heifer and 2 - 3 % protein per heifer. Yea, there is a formula to figure this out. So, the theory is they eat, sugar levels go up, they chew their cud and rest the rest of the day into the night, then as daylight comes up, their sugar level goes down and they calve. At times it seems like we are watching heifers calve all night!! But, I keep a graph and they calve between 7am - 2pm.

The sunrise over the house as we wait for way ward heifers to come to the feed truck.

Way ward heifers.

Can you see the 2 horses? We keep 3 old horses in with our heifers so the heifers get used to horses all the time and aren't afraid of them.
Are you gonna feed us, or stand there taking pictures!?
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Bye 2013 - Hello 2014

The last sunset for 2013 was gorgeous.

The sunrise for 2014 was just as gorgeous.

Wide load coming thru! One of our early heifers. After I post this I better go check on her. She was starting to show signs!

Gotta love those muley bucks. There were deer everywhere today.

Boys and their toys. I opted to get out and take pictures! This is a huge clean sand pit on the ranch. There is another sand pit on the ranch, but it has a lot of dirt in it. Great for packing holes.

Thanks for stopping by. Here's to a happy, healthy new year.