Doing a Double Take


Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, large animals are not as dumb as they may seem. Although normally they abide by the rules of the farm and get along with their fellow critters(including humans), they can also be quite conniving when they  decide to mutiny or if they just get into a ‘mood’. Continue reading

Roz and Her Heifer

Roz delivered a heifer calf on 3/7/2017 weighing in at 62 lbs. The delivery was right in the middle of the main herd, in a couple inches of snow and on and off flurries.

Roz was very hungry and wanted nothing more than to eat hay that we had doled out for the herd. Between bites, she was mooing and cooing to Zima to nurse but there was a lot going on with snow and the rest of the herd.

Mother and newborn Black Angus in snow field.

Little Zima was so cold that her body temperature dropped before Roz could get her all cleaned off. We moved Roz and Zima into the barn to get away from the snow and to warm her enough so her jaw would work to nurse from her mama.

Two newborn calves on one side of the fence and the cow/newborn on the other.The twins, Front and Back watched from their own pen, fascinated with the sights and smells of the new mama and her calf.

This picture was taken after Zima was warmed inside and out after nursing. She was tired afterall the hard work of eating and laid down in the soft pine chips for a nap.

We were able to move both Roz and Zima out into the main herd the next day. As soon as the pair got into the field, the new baby was running and hopping helter-skelter around the other cows with no issues and enjoying the snow now that she was warmed up.

The Last Batch of Weaning

We are down to the last batch of weaning for the year. The final 8 calves have now had their green weaners placed in their noses.

Once the clips are installed, the calves need to take an few minutes to get used to the new jewelry. The smooth plastic does not hurt the calves and it does not stop the calves from eating grass and hay or from drinking water. It seems confusing to them that when they nuzzle the cow that they cannot seem to get their tongue around the device in order to nurse.

The calves are big enough to grow well without the mothers milk they are used to and the cows need to begin preparing for the new offspring that they are already pregnant with.

It won’t be long before we start the new round of calving.

Last But Not Least

The last calf of the season was born 5/26/2016. We were in the process of moving the herd of cows across the river and over to the area along the hillside and back along the barns when we heard a bellow. Mike was able to tell from the sounds that it was labor pains.

We continued to get the rest of the herd rounded up and moved across. We had them all counted except for #99 the last animal that was still pregnant. After getting the rest of the herd moved through gates into the correct area, we drove up the road and around the 16 acre field. There was #99, Softly, under the big maple trees. She had just delivered a 75 lb. heifer, and she was in the process of cleaning her baby up.

We decided to let mother and baby bond together for the day before moving them through the river to be with the rest of the herd.

We named the baby, B. Felden, after the actress that played Agent 99 on Get Smart, oh so many years ago.

#89 and Marlon

#89 (Marlo) had a 70 lb. bull calf born on 4/17/16. Marlon weighed in at 70 lbs.

Black Angus cow with new calf standing by herd of cow/calf pairs.He was born fairly close to the rest of the herd and #89 felt comfortable with him meeting the rest of the calves when he was just a few hours old. This picture was taken two days after birth and he was already able to keep up with the rest of the cow/calf pairs as they moved from one part of the grazing area to another for grass hay that was set out for their morn

Something In The Air

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are comfortable with moderation when it comes to the weather. We like it mid-range between hot and cold.  We like knowing that we don’t have to spend every day watering plants to keep them growing. We don’t mind wearing mud boots with our summer shorts, some even like the look and refer to it as the ‘Oregon Fashion Statement.’

Last week, a warm front moved in and the temperature was nearing 90 degrees for a couple of days. For it being only spring, it was warm to say the least, almost uncomfortable with a muggy-ness  hanging thick in the air. The weather forecasters kept saying possibilities of thunderstorms and a few violent pockets did brew up in the lower part of the Willamette Valley. We stayed sultry and sticky until about midnight the following evening.

Loud thunder with lightening lit the dark night and woke us up from a sound sleep. Heavy rain showers with hail rolled through the area. Winds tossed branches around and we could hear them hitting the side of the house. Rain water filled and overflowed eaves, puddles started, grew and expanded to the whole driveway and a small stream washed through the show barn.

Meanwhile, outside in the pastures, the change in barometric pressure brought on labor for two cows that were close to calving . Both babies were born during that storm, and a young, first-calf heifer started into labor shortly after. That storm sure caused a flurry of activity around here. It’s a good thing that it only lasted a few hours with only lingering hard showers during the whole next day, I’m ready to get back to my cut-offs and boots.

Blush and Maroon

We could see Blush about 200 feet from the rest of the cows off to herself. It was obvious she was in labor.

Little Maroon was born in the back of the big nursery field just as we were feeding the rest of the cows and babies.  As we got closer we could see the minute-old calf struggling to stand. We gave Blush a slab of hay to eat.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

She was very hungry from all the birthing business and took time to eat her fill while Maroon stood and flopped countless times around her until finally getting his feet to cooperate enough for forward movement. He was hungry after all that birthing business also and took right to eating.

From birth to standing and nursing, all in about 15 minutes.