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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Shorthorn

One summer, my nieces visited the family farm and stayed overnight. After an evening of swimming at Oak Run with my parents, I surprised them with The Shorthorn. The Shorthorn is simply, vanilla ice cream and strawberry pop. It is a fun treat on our Shorthorn cattle farm! 
Now when my nieces stay overnight with us on the farm, we enjoy The Shorthorn. It is such a cute way to remember the farm.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 Weaning

Our calving season is March through April, so we typically wean our calves in early September. We weaned calves from our two cow herds on September 23 and 24. The calves were loaded and hauled to the feedlot barn to be weighed, and vaccinated.
Calves from each of the two farms were sorted by heifers and steers and weighed. The heifer and steer calves from each farm averaged...
herd 1 (5+ year old cows)
heifer average    550
steer average    679
herd 2 (2-4 year old cows)
heifer average    472
steer average    563
Weaning weights were recorded from our scales. We were extremely pleased with the weaning weights of the calves! Weights were much heavier than last year. These weights told us that our management was excellent. Over the years, we have developed a great herd health program with our veterinarian. Our herd nutrition was on point. In addition to pasture and hay, we fed oatlage to out cattle herds. The calves had corn, oats, and cotton seed hulls available to them in creep feeders. And, our cattle always have a supply of salt and mineral to meet their needs. We are always improving or looking for ways to improve.  The weights from calves at each farm were then entered onto a spreadsheet. In 2006, I developed a spreadsheet to track weaning weights. It has been very beneficial in the management of our calves.  
records are extremely important to our management
After being weighed, calves received a series of shots: 2cc Bovi-Shield Gold, 2cc 20/20 Vision 7, 4cc of Vitamins ADE, and 8cc of BP48 (to prevent illness). No calves have been treated for illness since being weaned. That is always our goal.
Calves were fed a ration of oats, corn, cotton seed hulls, and hay when first weaned. Now, they are fed corn, soybean meal, Vitamins, and hay.
We have been very pleased with the gain. And, I have been starting to select replacement heifers to retain. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015


As another way to advocate for agriculture, I am broadcasting live on Periscope. It is such a fun way to reach non-farm friends and consumers! Follow me on Periscope at MJStevens! Through Periscope, I talk about what we do on my family's farm.
Heart it up for farmers!