Sunday, August 31, 2008


Yesterday was a long, frustrating day with the cows. It was almost as bad as the day that the heifer got out, we got the truck stuck in the neighbor's pasture and then screwed up my car on the way to walmart at 11PM to get a log chain, but lets not go there! I said ALMOST as bad.
Friday we had our first calf of the fall calving '08 season so we set out yesterday morning to tag it. Also, during Thursday's storm, all our cows got mixed up with the heifers/steers we're backgrounding and we have two steers with bad eyes, so we had to get everything up to the corral to sort. That part went fine. We treated the calves although we broke two needles and the spray gun on the fly spray tank broke. Next we went to find the new calf since #612 (her mama) was up with all the other cows and didn't seem a bit concerned with her calf. When we found it, the little thing took off as fast as any calf can run and we lost sight of it over the hill. We decided to come back to that later.
During this time, we noticed #534 (who Luke preg checked as "open" in June) was starting to have a calf. She didn't seem to care much though as she was just hanging out with the rest of the herd.
A couple hours later we went back to check on her and she had no progress whatsoever. We got her up in our make-shift alley and Luke felt the calf and could tell that it wasn't in there backwards, it just wasn't coming out yet. So, we gave her another hour. No progress. This time we decided we better do something. Let's just say it was kind of a fiasco. We don't have a head catch or chute of any kind so Luke roped her and tied her to a post. We had a really hard time pulling the calf and #534 didn't help at all. She maybe pushed 4 times. After probably an hour a little 50 lb heifer calf was born and was alive! We could not believe it was such a hard pull for such a small calf. The cow's body just didn't react to labor at all, it was weird.
Then of course, the cow wouldn't acknowledge the calf. We had to clean her off and then the cow would just walk all over her. Good thing the calf was so determined, she was finally able to suck a little right before dark.
Back to the other calf (#612's). We finally found her and again she took off running as fast as she could the minute she saw us. After running through 3 barbed wire fences and under two metal gates, she finally ended up in the same pasture as her mama (who still was completely unconcerned). We figured they would pair up. They didn't. As of the time I'm writing this, we can't find the calf and the cow is mooing her head off staring at #534's calf!

So frustrating. Hopefully time will sort this mess out and our calving season will straighten out. It's been a rough start and if every calf is like this, it's going to be a long season!

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