Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
The WC and I walked to the house last night after doing chores and the coyotes were serenading us like crazy. It sounded like they were just over the hill south of our house. My crazy WC kept howling back. She said “I bet they think I’m a wolf!” Probably! She has spent many hours watching hunting shows with her dad. She can blow a coyote call with the best of them! Turns out she thinks she can howl like a wolf, too. Who knew?!
We weaned replacement heifers a couple of days ago. Once again, we were incredibly blessed with amazing fall weather. Here we are gathering the first bunch. Weaning allows the cow to use the energy and nutrition that was used in milk production to instead improve her own condition and prepare for her next calf. The body condition of a cow is important for many reasons, but especially for reproductive issues and raising good healthy calves. Thus we want to make sure we always try to keep our cows in the best shape possible. We sorted off all the heifers and hauled them to my brother-in-law’s house where they will winter. It was a muddy mess there; he definitely had more snow then we did. Weaning is stressful on a calf. Not only removed from their mothers, but also our replacement heifers are taken to a place they have never been. When a calf is stressed, just like people, they become more susceptible to sickness. Every heifer calf gets run through the chute to get a subcutaneous injection and a nasal solution. The nasal solution works immediately to boost the calves immunity, while the injection will take a bit.
We spent the day after weaning pregnancy checking all the mommas of the replacement heifers. I also took a few minutes to take some pictures of the weaned bull calves. They are looking good. So fun to watch the animals you raise and keep (the bull calves and the replacement heifers) grow up.
The view from the back. 🙂
Below is a bull calf we kept out of a new AI sire we used last year. I put his momma in the shed about 4:00 a.m. one morning on my last check of the night. I went to the house and went to bed as the Big Guy was then officially “on duty!” At about 8:00 a.m. I got a call to come to the barn because, as he encouraged, I just “really need to see this calf.” Well what ranch wife could pass that up. So I jumped up (well maybe “jumped” is a stretch– instead maybe slid out of bed like a slug), got dressed, and headed to the barn to see what the fuss was about.
On arrival. the Big Guy lead me down to a jug (pen inside the barn) to look at the new calf. He was an awesome little bull calf.
The BG said “I bet that we end up keeping this calf for a bull. Just look at him!”
What a great little calf he was. Spot on was the prediction. We did end up keeping him for a bull. We watched him all spring and he just continued to impress us. He still continues to impress us. Not very often, well basically never, is a bull calf picked on the day he is born. They change so much over the next few months. But this boy– he was impressive. I can’t wait to see what he looks like next spring as a yearling!