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

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bracing Pasterns

a brace supports the pastern of a calf

Thursday morning, we assisted a replacement heifer in calving. We pulled a BIG, healthy bull calf weighing 125 pounds. When we checked on him later, he was still lying down. We noticed he was having problems setting his front feet on the ground. His pasterns seemed to be weak. To support and strenghten, we braced the pasterns of my newborn bull calf. We wrapped each front leg with cotton, placed a piece of PVC pipe that had been cut in half, then secured the brace with duct tape. The braces will stay on for a few days to strengthen the muscles. By Friday, he was running around in the barn!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bottle Feeding Lily

bottle feeding lily

This heifer lost her mom. Sadly. It was heartbreaking. So now, I care for this heifer calf. We call her Lily after her mom.
Throughout the day, I walk to the barn to feed Lily. She is happy to see me. Lily gets bottle feed milk...
2 quarts at 7:00 am
2 quarts at 12:00 pm
1 quart at 5:00 pm
2 quarts at 10:30 pm
(and meals from other cows that will let her nurse) 
It is work. But, I love it. I will give her the care she needs.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday on the Farm

a calf is 'hiding' in the lush green grass


So vibrant...the red and white calf, and the lush green grass. I walked to check cows and calves in the pasture, and this is what I happily found. It is so sweet how the young bull calf is 'hiding' in the grass. I love it!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tagging Calves

preparing to tag calves
After updating calving records, dad and I tagged calves last Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful day! My kind of Sunday Funday :)
A list of calves born on the farms is used to prepare numbered ear tags for heifers and bulls. Heifers receive a yellow numbered tag, and bulls receive an orange numbered tag. Calves born on one farm are tagged in their left ear, and calves born on another farm are tagged in their right ear. On each tag, I write the cow and bull of the calf being tagged. 

We tag calves with a numbered ear tag for calf identification. Through tagging and maintaining cattle records, we are able to track a calf throughout its life.