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We wean calves in small batches for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that we only have one set of six green weaner clips, these are the nose clips that are inserted into the nose of a calf so they are not able to nurse from their mother. The second reason for small batch weaning is that we have our births spread out over seven to nine months. We wean calves after six months old and try not to go past nine months old because the cows are already bred and busy forming next years calf. Continue reading
I happened to glance out the kitchen window and saw a coyote standing in the bull pen about 100 feet from the house.
I was shocked to see a coyote so close to the house and especially in the bull pen. The bulls are very protective of their space and most wildlife steer clear of the area. Also the dogs are just on the other side of the house and they are alert to any unwanted critters that come within within a football field of the yard. Continue reading
The newest barn that was built last year is now full of bulls.
The largest of the boys is bull #74 that we had as the backup animal for the show at the Clark County Fair this year. He was broke to lead and spent time with the two bulls that ended up going to the fair without him. Since the fair and being moved to the bull pen, he has grown steadily and now weighs about 1600 lbs.
The rest of the bulls are the newly weaned guys that are one year younger. Including #74 we have 11 registered bulls available for sale. Until they are sold, they will hang out in the barn for eating and in the 2 pasture areas under tall fir trees until they move to their own herds.
They are eating well and are enjoying the new barn which makes feeding easier and less wasteful.
In an effort to clear back vegetation so the electric fence does not short out, I have made my way down along the outside of the bull pen over the last couple of weeks. It’s been a slow go as I hacked and wacked buckbrush, wild blackberry vines, maple saplings, wild cherry saplings and dead ferns higher than my head. Most of it was done with clippers (long handled lompers), but the saplings needed my little chainsaw to fall them before hauling off the line. Continue reading
Two maple trees at the edge of the bull pen did not fare so well during the drought last year. Instead of leafing out this spring, they just stood there with bare limbs throughout the summer. Since the trees are fairly close to the house and the bull pen fences, the decision was made to take them down before they decided to come down on their own.
The biggest of the two trees was taken down first.
It didn’t take Mike long to fall the trees. It took 2 days for Mike, me, Marilyn and my right hand helper to get the trees limbed, cut, split and hauled to the other side of the yard to be stacked at the furnace and the branches stacked and burned.
With this task completed the bull pen is a safer area for the bulls and the cleanup looks so much better than those old dead trees. We already have a line of cedar and maple trees growing along the fence line to fill in with shade where these two trees failed.
The cedar and maple saplings have been in the ground for about 5 years and are now taller than my head. Within a couple of years, these two that were cleaned up will no longer be missed.
We had 12 bulls out in the bull pen after weaning. They have been hanging out while they grow big enough to be sold.
After several bulls were sold, we are now down to 8 yearling bulls in the bull pen. They are now about 1000 lbs. each. A few have already had their first birthday with more birthdays still to come. They are adolescents and are trying to show the others in their pen how grown up they are. The squeaky bellows ring out and echo across the hillside. The water trough is a favorite meeting place to push, shove, bellow and butt heads in an effort to act like a bull.
The bull pen becomes a scrimmage field quickly as a confrontation between two animals becomes a full-fledged rumble fueled by macho bravado. 2 am seems to be the loudest, the noise has woken the household from restful sleep many nights.
As I was looking out into the bull pen, I noticed #67, Searcher, had a noticeable bump on the top of his noggin.
He has been showing off and has made himself bald in a circle on the top of his head. The Friar Tuck look is common among the yearling bulls, Searcher is the first this year for the hair-do.
I think it really shows off his nicely shaped face, don’t you?
The four bulls from the final eight weaned animals have successfully been moved out of the show barn and are now happily in with the other bulls in the bull pen.
They enjoy the extra room the bull pen has to offer along with the tall fir trees that they can lay under. They are at the age where they are testing themselves and the other bulls. They can be seen scrambling around out in the bull pen. The frosty morning doesn’t slow the pushing and shoving going on.
The bulls are growing rapidly at this stage and are trying to act tough.