The bull with many names including #41, BoBridges and My Stalker was one of two long yearling bulls we had for sale from the 2011 calving season.
Last week, we had a couple come out to the farm to look at the bulls and decided #41 would make a good fit for their cattle. But they did not want him right away. They had to figure out what to do with the current bull they had that was, in their words, a dud.
Well it took less than a week for them to figure out what to do with the dud in question and called to see if Mike could deliver #41 today. It so happened that the hay field he mowed on Monday could not be fluffed on Tuesday because it was raining. The rain is not affecting the quality of the hay because it had not yet begun the drying/curing process. The wind rows did not even look wilted yet. With a delay in the hay making, Wednesday made for a very good day indeed to deliver the bull.
Congratulations to #41 aka My Stalker, I’m sure you will be very happy with your own group of females to keep company and the new name of Herd Sire can be added to your ever growing list of names. The two newly weaned bulls that have been sharing the bull pen with you will have to keep each other company since you are leaving and will have to learn on their own how to transition from calf to yearling. I will miss your looming presence at the corner of the barn as I spend my hours bundling firewood for the project that keeps me busy. It has been interesting watching you watching me during your time at our farm.
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Renaissance, the herd sire, likes to spend these cold winter nights down in the woods under tall fir trees. The protection of the trees makes a comfortable setting for him and the three cows that he is currently penned with.
The long walk up to the barn is on ground that has been frozen solid, coated layers of snow and ice, and frozen again on top. Renaissance takes his time walking to barn, avoiding twisting an ankle or displacing a hip.
His lumbering gate continues until he catches up with the cows that are already happily eating in the barn.
After breakfast, he will follow the cows back down to the woods for an afternoon under the trees.
The kittens have adopted a new routine during the cold winter mornings in the show barn.
They eat and play the whole time the animals are eating hay, but the minute the herd sire is moved out of his segregation stall (in an effort to keep his mind off the females and give everyone an un-harrassed meal), the kittens move into his manger.
They use the left over hay to cavort, roll around and snooze for a while before heading outside to cavort, roll around and snooze the rest of the day.
The kitten on theright, Boaz, actually made a nest of hay in the grain tub that the bull had just cleaned out. He made it into a sleeping bed and acts like it his very own.
Our herd sire, Renaissance, had been keeping company with our show cows in the barn and pastures close to the house. These areas happen to be fairly close to the bull pen, where all our adolescent bulls have been gawking over the fence at the majestic movements and sounds of a herd sire in action.
Since the house and garden are located between the yearling bulls and the show animals with the herd sire, we were in a prime location to hear the serenading going on by both sides. Many evenings, our attempted slumber was punctuated by squeaky snorts on the left and soul-stirring rumbles from the right. Usually the sounds of the herd are soothing and go un-noticed, unless it is pointed out by a visitor or becomes unusually raucous. When the noise brings you out of a solid sleep to sit bolt upright in bed, you become aware of the interruptions of the peaceful nights.
Renaissance had been moved from the main herd to the show herd more than two cycles ago, enough time for the cows to come into heat twice plus a few days. The bull has the opportunity to breed the cow with her first cycle and then get another chance the next month, just in case the cow didn’t get bred or settle during the first go-round.
He was loaded back into the stock trailer for the short trip over the bridge to the property on the other side of the river. When the trailer door was swung open, Renaissance took no time at all to go scooting out to the cows in the main herd to get reacquainted. The cows were bellering a welcome and the calves were kicking up heels and running circles around the herd. Renaissance took the greeting in stride with his own deep, throaty bellows announcing his return and daring any competition to interfere with his reign.
His welcome settled quickly as all the animals went back to grazing and napping in the large grass field. Renaissance, after checking each cow with a good sniff, realized his manliness wasn’t needed at the moment and was content to start grazing as well, content to be back with the main herd.
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.
This is a current pic of our herd sire. He is a patient fellow. He watches as we do the morning feedings, then at his leisure, moves in and eats his fill.
His first baby, Stormy was born several weeks ago. He is the sire for the whole crop of calves that will be born over the next six months.
KC Renaissance #17861507
Current weight 1400 lbs.
Ear tag #68, George was born February 6, 2015 to Paulette. He weighed 82 lbs. at birth. George now weighs about 1000 lbs.
Just in case you were wondering, SAF is a designation for our business in the registration names and stands for Schmidlin Angus Farm.
American Angus Association Registration number for his sire is #16964231. This sire has been exceptional with the calves he has produced. The calves start out vigorous at birth and are fast growing, solidly built youngsters.
During hay season while we had the herd sire visiting with the show cows, we had to improvise. His head and neck were just too big to fit into the stanchions (head gates) where the cows, heifers and calves eat. Continue reading
We have completed our hay season for this year. The equipment has been cleaned and stored away. The hay has all been stacked in the barns, and the cows are now allowed back into all the fields to forage in the large areas.
Since we do not irrigate our grass, we only have one cutting of hay. The rest of the time the land is used for grazing the main herd.
Usually, after cutting the hay off, the grass will regrow. This year with little ground moisture, the hay fields look as if it is late August, dry and brown. We supplement the herd with a bale or two of hay each day as they forage, just to make sure that no one goes hungry.
The herd sire had been away from the main herd and was spending the last 66 days with the show animals. It was so much easier moving the herd around as we were working the hay fields. The bully just slows the process down, not that he is mean, but he just wants to be in charge and doesn’t always agree with our plans.
Since hay season is over, we loaded the herd sire into the stock trailer and moved him across the road and river to the main herd. He is once again king of his domain and watching over his batch of mothers and their babies.
Having a farm that is bisected by both the county road and the river sometimes works to our advantage. But some of the time it doesn’t.