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

Saturday, January 30, 2016

calving vaccinations

The countdown to calving begins! We are about 5 weeks away from the start of calving. And, I have been busy preparing. I've put together our calving kit...Clorox wipes, paper towels, flashlight, calving record book, weight tape measure, iodine, syringes, needles, vaccinations, paper tags, marker, and glue. 
When our calves are born, they receive a series of shots...Vitamin B12, Bo-Se (Selenium and Vitamin E), Enforce 3 - Bovine Rhinotracheitis Parainfluenza Respiratory, CalfGuard - Bovine Rota Coronavirus, Clostridium with E Coli, and penicillin. Our health program for calving costs about $35 per calf. But, it gives our calves a great start to a healthy life!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday on the Farm

frost on a straw bale
In the morning, I stepped outside to start chores for the day. Frost covered a straw bale setting beside a barn as I went inside to feed heifers. The frost was so beautiful and delicate. It glistened in the morning sun.

[ agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ]

Sunday, January 24, 2016

calving records prepared for 2016

Calving is soon arriving!

calving records

We start calving the first week of March. So, I have started organizing. This week, I have taken time to prepare records for calving season. One very important part of our purebred Shorthorn herd is records. And with calving season, it is extremely important to have detailed records. Over the 70+ years of raising purebred cattle, we have developed a thorough record keeping system. Through our records, we are able to track each calf throughout its life.
Our record keeping system for calving includes:
. one copy of our herd pregnancy records as a due date reference kept in the calving binder
. spiraled notecard calving book that we use to track the birth details of each calf . we include; cow number, date and time of birth, sex of calf, coloring, type of birth, weight of calf, calf identification, and sire . the calving book is kept in the calf vaccination kit and is written in when we weigh and vaccinate a calf at birth
. record sheet for each calf that is printed and kept in the calving binder . this sheet is similar to the calving book . it includes: cow number, tattoo, color, due date, sire, farm, date and time calved, paper tag, sex, weight, color, type of birth, numbered tag, vaccinations, date vaccinated, other comments (issues nursing, cow temperament, presentation of birth), and any other treatments given. the record sheet is saved as an Excel document and printed . a different colored paper is used for the calf record sheet each calving season
. handwritten list of calves born located on a clipboard and includes a pen . the list includes : cow, date of birth, farm, sex of calf, calf weight, color, sire, paper tag, and numbered tag . this list is extremely useful for tagging calves with their numbered tag, and tracking total number of heifer and bull calves

. spreadsheet list of calves kept in the calving binder . this is the same as the handwritten list but is saved as an Excel document to be viewed on the laptop or tablet  

. container that holds paper tags with glue, and a Sharpie are kept in the vaccination kit . the temporary tag for calves will match the numbered tag of the cow

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday on the Farm

freshly fallen snow
It was a beautiful, sunny winter morning. Overnight, snow had fallen. Fluffy snow covered cornstalk bales in the barnyard. The snow glistened in the sunshine. It was quite peaceful while feeding calves in the morning.

[ agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ]