As we get ready to wean most of the calves that were born this year, we have to make some decisions about the quality and size of our cattle herd. Several of the heifers are ready for sale, 2 of the 3 spring yearling bulls and one of the young yearling bulls has been spoken for already.
We had 2 of our most senior cows with their newborn calves at a neighbors farm since spring. Their job,along with 2 other cow/calf pairs, was to trim down the grass fields that were growing fast during the cool spring weather.
We moved the 2 older cows with their calves home for a few days to get the calves used to the new surroundings before we hauled the 2 senior cows to the auction. The older cows had been good mothers and each delivered 9 calves over the last 9 years, but one was having issues with her feet and struggled each winter as her calf grew heavy inside her. The other was several years older and was no longer fertile.
Culling the herd is an ongoing concern throughout the year but during the late summer we usually trim the herd heavily in an effort to survive the winter without purchasing extra hay for the animals. Thinning out of the herd is a necessity to keep the farm working at a sustainable and manageable level.