Topper Hits The Road

A Black Angus bull eating hay in the barn.#12, Topper, was just a year old when we trained him to walk with a halter and took him to the Clark County Fair this last summer.

Now he is ready to be the sire for his own herd. He was purchased by one of our repeat customers over in the Scappoose area just an hour away by trailer.

Since Topper had halter experience, it was no problem to get him fitted into the rope and walk him out of the barn and into the stock trailer for delivery. He should continue to grow and do well with his own herd of 15 cows to be in charge over along with large fields to roam.

The bull pen is now down to a 20-month old and 9 yearlings ready for sale.

A Short Trip from the Main Herd

It was a short trailer ride from the main herd across the river for our herd sire. We moved him to this side of the river for two reasons, one to segregate him from the cows that are near calving and to breed the three cows that have already calved in the pasture next to the house.

Black Angus bull in barn eating hay in manger with three cows and three calves.We let him out of the trailer and he walked over to the barn and sunk his nose into the pile of sweet grass hay in the manger. Once he had his fill, he checked out his pen mates.

The three cows with their young calves seemed non-pulsed  over the fact that the large bull has invaded their area and welcomed him once everyone was done eating.

 

 

 

# 57

SAF Bryce, Tag # 57

He was born 3/27/2014 to our great cow Topanga. He weighed in at 78 lbs at birth.

We broke him to lead as a yearling and showed him at the Washington County and Clark County Fairs this last summer.

Since the fairs, he was loaned out to a farm in the valley for a couple of cows that needed breeding. We moved him back home before Thanksgiving and he is scheduled to be trailered to the Southern Oregon Coast for a rancher that has a large cow/calf operation. His move should happen in the first week of January, if the weather cooperates, of course.

 

Return of #57

Bull #57 was the larger bull that we took to the local county fair and to the Clark County Fair in Washington this past summer.

We have a long time bull buyer from Southern Oregon that has placed his order for this herd sire but he does not want him delivered until early 2016. The buyer had given us permission to hire him out for  the months until he is ready to be shipped.

After the fairs, we moved him south of Hillsboro to breed six cows. The bull was very happy with his job at the farm. The lovely ladies were nice to him, and the farmer fed him very well with hay that he produced right on his farm.

We had another local farmer that wanted to rent the bull for the next 63 days (this lets the cows have two heat cycles, just in case the first go-round doesn’t take).  When we tried to pick up #57, he didn’t like the idea of being taken away from his ladies. He got worked up before we could get a halter on him and had trouble getting him into the trailer.

We called the second farmer and told them that we were not comfortable taking the bull to service his cows with him being all worked up. We were concerned that someone could get hurt, or that he could get hurt.

Instead, we moved #57 back home where we are giving him some TLC. By the time we got home, it was like a completely different in the  trailer. He was calm and composed. Mike walked him on a halter without incident to the barn. He came into the head gates and started eating like nothing has happened.

We will keep him here at the farm until it’s time for him to go to Southern Oregon. I’m still going to keep my eye on him, just to monitor this new wrinkle in his personality.

 

Getting Prepared for the Fair I

Black angus cows wearing halters with heads in stanchions.

This is the first post in the Fair Prep Series.

The first step in preparing the show string for the fair circuit is getting the animals comfortable wearing a halter. We start several weeks before the fair and take the process in small steps.

The older heifers and the cow that has been to fairs before take no time at all to get used to the rope halter. The young bull and heifer calves take a couple of sessions until they realize that the rope on their face will not hurt them. Continue reading

Nineteen and Counting

 

We now have nineteen calves with both Topanga and Roz looking like they are within a week of calving.

The herd sire has been moved over to the main herd. New babies in the main herd will be born starting late February 2016.

Only half of the babies have ear tags at this point. We like to wait almost a month before we put the ear tags in. Those little ears are just not strong enough to hold the weight of the tag. Even though it wouldn’t hurt the baby, they are just sad looking when they have a droopy ear!

The mild weather that we have been having is agreeing with the newborns. The babies are doing well and growing like crazy. It’s fulfilling to see the herd healthy and happy.