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Honored Advisor

Babies and bookwork...ramblings

...today. 

 

Mike found the second new calf on pasture check this morning.  No one else had separated herself off, so we decided to run south for the day, leaving meat to thaw for supper in Virginia. 

 

He wants to pump a few hours, check on the dogs and let them out of their kennel to run a while, and I had a bit of bookwork.  UPS had tossed the envelope with the new business VISA card down in the rain by the side door on Friday.  At least it's being wet kept it from blowing away.

 

Just finished verifying it online, and setting up alerts to my cell phone.  They changed my email address over the phone on Thursday, when I found out it had been hacked, as I was paying for the new generator at Lowe's. 

 

If you haven't set up alerts for your cards yet, maybe consider it.  I was being hacked from August 28th to September 3rd.  They had my old email address, on the server that went belly-up without warning.  We cleared quite a number of charges, some for several hundred dollars apiece, and there appeared to be no fraudulent ones on the accoutn online today. 

 

This is one of those times I am SO glad for the decision to set up a dedicated subaccount number, for all those autopay bills.  Otherwise, this would be a miserable afternoon of switching those all out, dragged out into Tuesday, when everyone comes back to work. 

 

Really happy with the two calves out of the new bull so far.  We bought him a lot for his CED (Calving Ease Direct EPD).  Hoping this trend continues...cow slips away from the herd, shows up next morning with her baby beside.  No drama.  I HATE drama!

 

Our dead creek in Virginia is being monitored periodically by the DEQ.  The samples from September 2nd were the absolute worst ones yet, for fecal coliform and E. coli.  The VDACS agent on the case said they thought those pathogens were from wildlife, but it simply cannot be. 

 

I am glad the spikes showed up now, instead of after our last biosolids application, which took place after the sampling event.  Given that we were blamed for the creek's ills to begin with, I am sure we would be the reason it's gotten worse now. 

 

Thank goodness the time and upstream issues proved we were innocent.  I have decided to investigate just when and by whom our farm was searched in July and August.  They have to tell me, and I think we need to know. 

 

After the three-ring circus of agencies in the path on Thursday, we feel really scrutinized. Not a nice way to go through your day....

 

 

 

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9 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Gotta love those calving ease bulls!

 

I got one for this spring, that had 100% of our first calf heifers calving on their own.

Nothing like checking cows, thinking I'd better go back in an hour or so and check that heifer, to find a newborn trying to get up!

Like my neighbor says, better to have 10 little calves on the ground, than 10 big ones that need pulling, even if they weigh 10-20 pounds less at weaning.  However, with modern genetics and breeding, the smaller calves are mostly just born early, with shorter gestation.  So while they are usually a little lighter at a given 'age', they will weigh about the same as the rest, on sale day, because they had an extra week or two on the ground.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Mike checked late yesterday afternoon, saying no one looked close to him.  Arrived this afternoon to find another pretty little bull following his Mama around.  

 

He thought it was yesterday's calf, but I said it lacked a red face marking that one had, and his Mama was with another bunch,  across at the other shady spot.  He saw I was right, counted tails, and we moved on.  

 

In his defense, these girls are not laboring very long.  Most of them seem to be calving in the nkght, too.  Tending them at this distance isn't perfect, but the calving ease seems to be a claim that the breeder can well support.  

 

When I fell in love with this bull's EPDs, his CED was in the top 4% of the Hereford breed.  So far, so good.  I will keep you posted, but I like your point of view....

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Might be a helpful for day calving is feeding the cows-hfrs in the late afternoon - my rancher friend with 4 decades of calving does chores @ 3pm and gets most of the calves during morning hours - 100% not-although he's close ---

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Honored Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

I have heard similar stories of scheduling things...but, these girls are all together on grass.  They are eating on a very natural schedule, grazing early and late, laying up in their shady hidey holes in the heat of the day. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

They are probably calving to miss the heat of the day, depending on how hot it is.  Cows tend to calve about a half day after 'lounging'.   For us, in the spring, we don't have it get hot enough for them to lounge during the day, and feeding towards evening, gets them to lounge around in the evening.   If they are all together around dark, there almost is never a calf born before daylight the next morning.  
Chances are, if it gets hot enough during the day for your cows, they probably eat in the morning, lounge in the heat of the day, and calve (I'd guess) probably early in the night.  
My guess would be by the time you find the calves, they are already licked off dry,and were up and  nursing.  If that is the case, and they are in a small area, a coupld good yard lights will help them.   Cows have poor night vision, and get excited calving anyway, and adding light has the effect of reducing stress if they calve at night.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Good guess.  Exactly what we are seeing.  The herd is on about 25 acres of pasture.  Not feasible to add artificial lighting, unless we could find something solar, and keep them out of the array.  

 

We have been back in the nineties the last few days, but it is supposed to be cooler for a few.  i gave bern very lregnant in a very hit summer once...no fun!  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Are they just grazing?   If so, they will calve easier on native grass, than anything.

Also, if you do have to feed them, it is better to give them half grass hay, half alfalfa, and supplement a little protein if it is needed, during the calving season.   Something about eating too much alfalfa, causes cattle to have a bit more difficulty calving.   Not a lot, but it might mean the difference between having to pull 1-2 calves.  If your cows are mature (not 1st calvers) any amount of green grass is usually enough to get them to calve all on their own, if you have any kind of calving ease bull.   We went to calving in a pasture from a lot (some say it is a waste, because we are giving up 10% of our summer grazing, for the 'calving pasture') and started calving later, after the grass greens up, and haven't pulled a calf from a mature cow since we started doing that.   Actually seen a couple being born backwards, and the cow had it just fine.   Went to feeding first calf heifers more grass hay, and a protein block last year, and haven't pulled a calf from a heifer from them, either.  

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

J  -  amazing things happen when we don't fight  '' mother  nature '' 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Babies and bookwork...ramblings

Exactly! 

The herd has been on grass solely since spring.  Most has been warm season, much of that is natives...switchgrass for one.  Lots of that on their current quadrant.

 

They are really enjoying hiding their babies in the tall stuff.  If you haven't seen that cute video of the talking cow, telling us to " stop jacking with my calf", you need to see it.  Hilarious! 

 

I would say they had predominantly bahia the last month before the week we started calving, but had some fescue to vary their diet, on that quadrant, too.  

 

None of the stands anywhere are pure, but the front half of the farm is cool season mostly.  The back half is arm season stuff, and they have way more shade options on thise paddocks.  

 

if you eant to see my bull source, Google Knollcrest Farm, in Red House, VA.  The Bennetts are scions of the Hereford breed in the region, and have some nice bulls in other breeds, too.  

 

 

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