Tuesday, February 16, 2010
This year we did things a bit differently with the replacement heifers, rather than pail oats to them, we ground all their feed up into one pile including oat bales which constitute their grain ration. It was all scientifically done.... Well, we know the weight of the bales and we estimated the weight of the oats in each oat bale, then mixed enough oat bales in the grinding pile to equal 5 lbs of oats per day. I am happy with how the calves look, so I guess it worked well enough. When we weigh them here around the first of March I will know for sure how well it worked.
Now comes the countdown to calving season. The first calves are due to drop about Mar 6, with the main herd following on the 8th. This year we have about 30 heifers to calve out, and I sure hope the bull we bought for them is as good as his numbers say he should be.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Our Milk/Nurse cow has 3 calves on her now, her own, and 1 of each set of twins. They are all doing quite well. When we brought her in to draft one of the twins on her, I weighed her calf since he was in the barn. He was 7 days old, and had put on 30 lbs since he was born. Comes out to about 3.75 lbs/day, and she looked to have a lot of milk that he wasn't using. The twins are doing quite well on her now.
Sickness has been at a minimum so far, have treated a few minor cases of scours, a joint ill, that has turned out well, a true ear infection, and a couple calves that were just 'off', don't know if it was pneumonia or what, but a couple doses of nuflor set them straight.
Some photos of the new additions for you
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday morning I had lots of help tagging the new ones. Kick the mamas out of the barn and the kids got to help move babies around. J was a little spooked, but I got her convinced to help, and once she got into it she had fun. Her favorite is the blaze faced one. M isn't real high on the cows, but once you get him out there I think he likes it.
Monday, February 9, 2009
And down the alley into the barn. Just swing a gate and she either goes in or past.
Through the door into the barn.
The south side of the barn.
The north side of the barn. We have 4 stalls, 2 of which can be opened up into a big pen, or divided into 2 smaller ones. They are all approx 10 x 10 feet in diameter. Another of the north side. The scale is in the corner, the red toolbox holds my tagging, dehorning, tattooing and banding supplies. Forks are up off the floor and we have a supply of ropes and halters hanging there. This area could be used for calving if we really needed it as well.
The Maternity Pen, where she goes if we think she needs help. She comes in through the door and straight into the pen past the green gate, which swings to close the pen off.............. or to force her into the headgate. The gate on the far side swings away if we need extra room when assisting a cow.
Here the gate is swung as if to push a cow into the headgate. The calf puller is hung on the wall right behind so it is handy when needed.With the self-catching headgate, one person can handle the cow alone without any major problems. If she goes down she won't choke.
The option of a larger stall if we have low occupancy.
Here you can see the alley leading down to the holding pen, the sorting pens on the sides and the alley going to the barn.
A view of the smaller sorting pens and chute on the North side. There are 3 pens for sorting into here.
The main holding pen, where we hold the cattle while we are working them. Right now as you can see it is divided into two and we are feeding some steers on the one side while the colt stays on the other.
The alley into the barn and the large sorting pen on the south side
One of the sorting pens on the north side. The Chute faces into this pen, and there is a small pen on the north side of the chute that leads to the pasture.
The small pen on the North side. The loading chute is on the far end, and the gate on squeeze can be opened to let cattle out into this small pen.
Looking out on the pasture to the North. A large pen for holding animals or wintering them. This runs along the North side of our sorting pens, and is accessed through the gate next to the Loading Chute.
Now back to the Squeeze Chute. This is the business end as you can tell. It faces into the West. If necessary, we can sort cattle 3 ways out of the squeeze.
This is the funnel end of the chute. There is a gate that can be swung so cattle can continue straight down to the loading chute and onto a cattle liner, or so that they are forced to turn and go on into the squeeze chute.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Last weekend we went up to a bull sale, we needed to pick up 3 bulls, and we were able to do that. 1 Black Angus x Simm and 2 Black Angus. So providing we have no unpleasant surprises at vet check time we should be done with that fiasco. I really hate having to deal with bulls, but with our pastures, they are a bit of a necessity.
I am on a number of groups that are for horse lovers. Now there is talk of banning the horse slaughter industry in Canada!! Talk about a disaster waiting to happen!! I really don't understand what these people think should (or will) happen to all the extra horses. I know, that I can't afford to keep horses around that are not doing something to pull their weight. Starving, or being left to suffer because no-one can afford to call a vet out would be worse that being sent out to a slaughter facility!!