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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday on The Farm

red #8
Red #8 is a replacement heifer of mine due to calve in March. She has such a beautiful udder! A cow chick can appreciate a beautiful udder :)
Walking through the cow herd on a farm one afternoon, my dad and I noticed how her udder was forming. We sorted her into the calving barn to start watching. This morning at 2:00 am, I drove to the farm to check her and three other heifers close to calving. This afternoon, we hauled her to my house, so I can better watch her.

Calf watch... 2015

Calf watch 2015 has begun! This morning at 2:00 am, I drove to a farm to check replacement heifers to close calving. We closely watch our cows during calving season, but especially the replacement heifers incase they are in need of assistance in calving. It is a frigid calving season so far. At 7:00 am this morning, it was -12. We manage our cattle even more intensely due to the weather.
Cows and heifers due to calve early to mid March have been sorted and moved to the calving barn to watch throughout the day and night. Barns have been bedded down with straw or cornstalks to keep cattle warm through the cold weather.
Walking through the barns at night, is so peaceful. Oh, the grunts of expecting cows.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

An early start to calving 2015

Calving started a month early...
During the winter, I routinely walk through the cow herds every morning and evening. On the afternoon of February 4, I walked through the cow herd where I live. To my surprise, I found a newborn calf. We were not expecting to calve until the beginning of March. Orange 13 was due to calve in early March according to my pregnancy checking records. When I found the calf on the cold afternoon, I picked up the calf and ran to my house. Sadly, it was too late. I was heartbroken.
On the evening of February 10, I heard a cow in the calving lot. I walked to the barn at 11:00 pm to find Yellow 62 with a calf. I ran to my truck and drove back to the barn. When dad arrived, I carried the calf to my truck to get warm. For energy and warmth, we fed the calf colostrum through a tube. I called our veterinarian to see if there was anything else we could do. Until 12:15 pm, I used a blow dryer to quickly warm the calf. She spent the night under blankets in bathroom of my home.
in the morning

In the morning, she nursed a bottle. We were so excited! Throughout the day, I would have her stand and walk around to gain strength. With our health program during calving, Dad and I gave the calf a few shots...Bo-Se, Vitamin B12, and Calf Guard. The heifer spent another night in my house to remain warm during a cold winter night. 
running in her carhartt sweatshirt

After spending 36 hours in my home, it was time to return the calf to her mom. In the morning, we started acclimating the heifer to the outdoor temperatures. Since she is small, I used a Carhartt hoodie to keep her warm outside. It is amazing how well it worked! It was great seeing her run in the sunshine! I laughed and smiled. We brought the cow and calf into the barn to bond and stay warm. We bottle fed the calf with colostrum until she nursed the cow. We administered a shot of clostridium, and parainfluenza-respiratory. The calf nurses her mom at 7:30 am and 5:00 pm, and we feed her a bottle at 12:30 pm and 10:00 pm. We are currently working with the calf to nurse the cow instead of the bottle.

UPDATE...Success! I went out to the barn to feed heifer calf her 10:30 bottle tonight. After she finished her bottle of milk, I directed her towards her mom. She went straight towards the udder and started nursing! This is the first time the cow has let her nurse without being in the chute. I was so happy!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

i heart agriculture

i HeArT agriculture

. farm . family . faith . love . tradition .

Every morning, I am blessed to wake up and do what I absolutely love...raising cattle. In my heart, I truly believe it was something I was born to do. Raising cattle is a family tradition. And, I am extremely proud to be a third generation cattleman. Raising cattle is about family, faith, love, and tradition. We take great pride in being stewards of our land, and caretakers of our cattle. It is tough work...blood, sweat, and tears. Though, it is extremely rewarding. I am able to see our work and dedication in our healthy cattle herds.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday on the Farm

installed field tile
Field tile was installed in a field to help with subsurface water drainage. Tile will allow water to safely be removed from the field and help prevent soil erosion.