my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fall 2012

Due to the extremely hot and dry weather conditions this past summer, we weaned calves a month early. Normally in the middle of September, we decided to wean calves in the middle of August. We chose to wean calves early to save pastures for grazing, maintain body condition, and maintain pregnancies. Despite the heat and lack of forage, I was pleasantly surprised with weaning weights. On average, steers and heifers weighed 40-60 pounds less than previous years. I was relieved and fairly pleased, considering. Since weaning, calves have been healthy and growing very quickly. I am very happy with the quality of calves this year.
With the warm, fall weather, we built fence. It is one of my favorite jobs on the farm! We use hedge posts, steel posts, four strands of barbed wire, and electrify one strand of high tensile for pasture fence. More fence is yet to be built. We showed calves to a family looking for a steer to show this summer. And, I was very pleased with the steer calf they chose. I wish them the best of luck! I decided to keep two bull calves to raise as breeding bulls to sell. I have never raised bulls, so it has been a good learning experience. Halter breaking the bulls to lead was very easy. We selected 12 replacement heifers to retain in the herd. I am extremely happy with the quality of heifers. Our veterinarian calfhood vaccinated our replacement heifers. The feeder calves were also revaccinated as part of their health program. We pregnancy checked and vaccinated cows with a pre-calving health program we developed with our veterinarian. I was so nervous about pregnancy checking our cows this fall in fear of low conception rates and the 2013 calving season being stretched out much longer due to the breeding conditions this past summer. If that was the issue, it would take a few years to get cows back on schedule. Ugh. I hoped for the best and was very pleased with herd averages of 98% conception. I am looking forward to calving season!