5/11/17 was busy for Rosalie. She was delivering her baby but it was also time to eat. She was quite sure that she could do both at the same time.
Petals the heifer weighed 74 lbs. at birth. The moment that Rosalie had her baby cleaned off and standing up, she went back to eating in the tall grass.
The baby stayed close to mom as Rosalie was busy even though there was a lot of wobbly-legged flopping about.
It wasn’t too long before Petals figured out what to do with her long legs that she realized she was hungry and looked to Rosalie for something to eat. She started bumping along her mothers side until she found the source for the milk supply.
Petals starting nursing even before Rosalie was able to expel the afterbirth.
Rosalie took it all in stride and was very calm with her new calf even though she was hungry and busy with the post-partum business as well.
5/10/17 was busy for the herd. A second calf was born on the same day as Quartz.
#99 Softly delivered a bull calf weighing in at 75 lbs.
We have been doing word play with the names of Softly’s offspring tied in to the old TV show Get Smart. Last years calf was named after Agent 99, we named her B. Felden. This years calf will be named after Maxwell Smart’s boss, Chief.
Using the wordplay is not only a way to come up with names after doing it for so many years. I averaged out the number of calves times the number of years we have been raising registered stock and figured that there have been about 1000 calves. That is a lot of names.
By connecting the offspring to the mother with this game I can remember who is who much better. Just the other day I was trying to remember the name of the first calf of the season. By knowing the name of the mother, Sitka, I was able to deduce that the baby’s name had to do with a tree. A light ruffle of my mental roll-a-Dex brought up the name Peach rather quickly.
Mother cow #64 Suzy Q led the way out of the shade and into the bright sunshine for her newborn on 5/10/2017. Quartz the heifer calf weighed 71 lbs. and jogged along on unsteady legs as she joined her mother through the open gate.
Suzy Q was not hesitant about having her baby in with the rest of the main herd and the pair joined right in with feeding and grazing along the hillside.
The nice weather was a treat for the animals and Suzy Q was quick to get Quartz to take a nap in the full sun that warmed the short grass on the side hill. Quartz was joined in naptime with several of the other younger calves. For several hours they were just little black dots in the green grass as they soaked in the warmth.
#76 Blackie was acting strangely when we started feeding. She was watching the brush under some big alder trees. It had been apparent for the last couple of weeks that she was getting close to calving and we were certain she was watching a newborn from a distance.
Sure enough, when we got closer to the tree and brush line, Tucked right behind a log that had washed in during high water, we could see an outline of a little calf.
Blackie walked with us right over to the calf so we fed her a slab of hay right next to her baby.
Welcome to the farm Sable, born 5/3/17. She is a healthy heifer that weighed in at 63 lbs.
We have a well traveled bridge. Since most of our property is on the other side of the river, along with the bulldozer, several tractors, the main herd and the momma cow with her twins, several trips a day are made over our personal bridge across the Nehalem Rivier.
During one of our trips on the way back to the house, we were involved in a commuter problem. As we crested the top of the bridge and headed down the other side, there was a momma cow and her calf resting comfortably on the rock road that leads off the bridge.
The raised edges of the bridge made it impossible to go around this pair who were comfortably lounging in our path.
We stopped the Gator and waited for momma to stand, stretch and slowly move her calf out of the way.
Good thing we did not have to call a tow truck for this stall.
We had to do cattle shuffling to work with some of the older calves from this years crop. We separated five calves and kept two mother cows with them so they would not get frightened.
Once in the barn, we moved one calf at a time into a squeeze corner and gave it a tagged number for its ear, before returning it to the pen with the two cows and other calves.
The process went quickly and within a matter of 20 minutes, the small batch was reunited with the rest of the herd.
Now we watch to match up the baby with the momma by noting ear tag numbers when the little one is nursing.
We will soon be separating some of the cow/calf pairs and need these identification tags to insure that we have the right pairs moved together.
So far we have #94, Plum with her baby Snowcap #17. #162, Opal with her baby Granite #15. And #68, Sapphire with her baby Blue #16.
I can blame it on a lot of things, the series of storms that has been this winter, the 2 large herds of elk that swoop in and out of the pastures ignoring fences completely, minimal grass growing because of the cooler temps, our preoccupation with the twins and all their needs, or just a sheer lack of wanting to go out in soggy, snowy, cold weather to work on fences. But the bottom line is that our fences are not up to standards and will need a lot of attention.
All this has led to a large problem. Continue reading