It’s official, we have now fenced the main herd of cows out of the hay field/pasture for the winter. The field/pasture will be opened up for the cows that start calving.
The field/pasture becomes a nursery field for the cows with new calves. They are able to stay on grass and not get muddy. During the wet and cold winter months the areas are off limits to the main herd in order to keep the grass from getting ripped up.
A temporary electric fence is a good and economical way to separate the pasture ground from the other areas of grazing.
Once all the cows with new calves are moved into the field in the spring, the temporary fence will again be dismantled until it is time for the cows to be pulled of the field in order for it to grow for hay.
With the assistance of our right-hand-helper, the last eight calves have had their green nose rings inserted. These last calves of the season are getting pretty big and we needed a little extra muscle to control the calves that are ranging upward to 800 lbs.
The mother cows have been doing an exceptional job of producing nourishing milk to their babies while they are also eating hay and grazing throughout the day. The moms are ready for the calves to stop nursing, besides they have the important task of giving nutrients to the babies that are already developing inside them.
In three days, we will again move the herd into the barn where we will separate the calves from the mothers. The mothers will be moved to the far field across the river where the grass has been growing and will be a good spot to hang out for up to a week. The calves will be loaded into the stock trailer for their first ride and brought over the river and across the road to the show barn where I will introduce them to sliced apples, grain and all the hay they can eat.
Many of these calves have already been spoken for and will be ready for sale as soon as they are eating well and have their vet check completed.
The last of the weaning is just another sign that the seasons are changing as we gear up for winter weather. Looking ahead, less than two months to go before we start seeing new calves from the mothers that were bred early.
Celia injured her left back foot when she was younger. The foot and ankle healed, but some days she does not move smoothly. That foot seems to have a touch of arthritis and especially when she is heavy with calf, she has a hard time keeping up with the rest of the herd. Continue reading
Our cow, Sudoku was looking a bit pregnant. Actually, she was looking a lot preggo, and Mike moved her out into the nursery field with the other mother cows in an effort to keep her bag clean and have a comfortable environment for the birth.
Within 24 hours of being moved, she had a new baby.
The little bull Jeopardy weighed in at 65 lbs. and got established with the other babies quickly. By the second feeding, all momma and baby calves were eating together.
We had moved Celia out into this field a day before Suduko, but she has not had her calf yet.
It is a mad dash for all animals big and small when they realize it is feeding time. Their habit to come into the stanchions according to bossiness shows during this meal. To the far left, Pretzel (the oldest cow in this group with the oldest baby), then the two younger cows. Renaissance the herd sire, in the middle (for a bull, he is very easy-going), then the three young calves on the right.
Herd Sire Renaissance took little time to get comfy with his new assignment. The three momma cows and three calves pay no attention when feeding time brings them all into the barn.
Once fed, the animals go outside to lay in the pasture and relax until next feeding.
February has it all. A mix of cold, dry, wet, and just when we start to wonder if winter is going to hang on forever, a warm wind will bring an amazing warmth with a clear blue sky.
The cows with calves follow the Gator as we toss out sweet grass hay for feeding time in the nursery. The newborns grab a bite or two before flopping right on the hay for some quality sunbathing.