It was a big day for movement. First up, the two calves with the green weaning clips, #1 (Peach) and #18 (Respect) needed to have the clips removed before being moved away from their mother’s Sitka and Quiet.
While everyone was locked into the stanchions (headgates) and were contentedly munching on chopped apples and sweet hay, I removed the green clips from the calves and changed the gates in the barn to allow for Peach to travel from the cow/ calf side of the barn to the other side that has the two older heifers that were weaned last month. Peach wasn’t wild about being moved away from her dinner, but as soon as she was safely on the other side got a new portion and went right back to eating. I closed the gates behind her and she was securely in with her two roomies. This pen is smaller than the wide open pasture down into the woods where she had been with the mom’s, but opens up to a private barnyard between the barn and the shop with plenty of room for the three heifers.
I changed the gates around again and moved our new bull, Prowler, from his own pen in with the mother cows and three yearling heifers. All of these females are bred and Prowler gets to spend time with girls without our worry of him getting worked up when the females cycle and he will have the large pasture in which to enjoy the tall timber and lots of grass to nibble on while he grows another month before we will be moving him into one of the pens with other bulls.
Once more the gates were changed around and the newly weaned bull, Respect, got to move away from his mother and heifers. He was walked through the pasture and out into the bull pen with the three bulls that were weaned last month. He didn’t bellow much during the weaning process, but when he saw his new penmates head toward him, he sounded like a big bull (except for those squeaky endings). The bellowing came from both Respect and the three coming to meet him. Once it was established that there was another bull in the mix, the four of them packed up and checked out the boundaries of the surroundings.
With all this moving around we now have an empty pen where Prowler had been for the calves that we put green weaners on that are still across the river. The herd will be shuffled into the barn over there and the process of switching will begin again.