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Monday, December 21, 2009

This is why I love ranching

I have been home for Christmas break for little more than a week and we have already had a few calves born. I love calving season and working with the cow-calf herd. Luckily we have been having pretty good weather considering it is late December.

Our cattle auction had a special cow sale on the 12th with 650 replacement heifers, cows, and bulls. It was a great sale, some local producers got some great replacements for their herds, and we got little to no sleep that weekend. Then the Tuesday regular sale after that had another 600 head. 1,800 head within 2 weeks ain't bad for helping to pay the bills.


We got a new 300 acre place right in town. I mean right in town, behind the high school, with a sonic less than 3/4 mile in two directions. We have moved close to 80 head of cows to that place, there is tons of stockpiled grass that will help ease the winter feed bills.

Today we had a calf born out of one of our 1,400 lb. Brangus cows. Yeah she is a little bigger than would ideal, but when a cow consecutively weans $700 baldy steers, its a little hard to complain. This years calf would have been no exception to her great line on bull calves. It was a little on the heavy side at 115 lbs and looked great till it got up.


Both its front feet are turned in at 90 degree angles. Its amazing that the cow had no trouble calving as bow-legged as that calf is. We got the calf up and milked the cow to feed it some colostrum and watch the pair. The pair will be easier to watch in closer quarters, and the limited mobility will allow the calf to gain strength without straining itself with pasture movement. We plan on constructing some splints for the calf out of PVC tomorrow to help support its front legs in hopes that it will straighten enough to allow mobility. I will let you know how that goes.


This is why I loving working in a cow-calf operation. You never know what challenge each calving will bring, and what I can discover and learn from each of there problems encountered. Some things go wrong, but then you have my 10 year old cow that I raised on the bottle that had yet another great calf. I am SO thankful for this life!