Recently we had a cow give birth to a calf. Although she gave us a fine, healthy heifer calf, she was having a difficult time with her calf emptying one of her teats.
Each day that one teat grew bigger and we’d hoped that the calf would eventually latch onto it like she was the others. (we’ve had that circumstance in the past and it’s always worked out fine)
But the teat began to get so full it was large & tight and too difficult for the calf to attempt to nurse it. So she just didn’t.
I was worried about the cow developing mastitis so I knew I needed to take action. I’ve never milked a cow before. Ever. Until now. Ain’t nothin’ to it, y’all! I feel like an official country woman now!
Summer is officially here and WHEW it’s really heating up lately. We’ve already endured one the the wettest springs in history around here so many of the routine tasks we typically stay on top of have been pushed back for drier weather.
Although there are still plenty of muddy areas around the Homestead, we’ve got lots to do today. So we’ll do whatever we need to do to get the job done. Did you ever wonder what a typical day at our NE Texas Homestead really looks like? C’mon with me for A Day At The Homestead…
We utilize bovine artificial Insemination on our ranch when we want to mix up our herd pedigrees, blend breeds, or perhaps have a special cow deliver an extra-high-quality calf, etc. I’ve written before about various ways AI is very beneficial to the rancher, especially for smaller ranches where it’s often more difficult to buy & maintain a high-quality bull for just a few cows.
RancherMan is a certified A.I. technician. And we also have all our own AI equipment including medications, nitrogen tank, bull semen straws, etc. So we sometimes perform A.I. jobs for local ranches from time to time. We recently received an email asking for help with a local man’s heifers. After a few emails & phone calls the schedule was set to begin in a few weeks. We prefer to use a 10-day timed synchronization program & we wanted to follow the heifer protocol to offer the highest possibility for successful breeding.
I’ve had many people tell me they wonder what a typical day at a Texas ranch might be like. So last year I published a post detailing a day in our lives here in our NE Texas paradise. But that was during the heat & drought of summer, a very different kind of day than in the cold of winter.
So I thought it would be fun to let you walk around with us today to see what a day at the ranch is like when it’s c-c-c-cold outside! C’mon, put on your mud boots, bundle up in your heaviest coveralls, grab your gloves & follow me – it’ll be a blast!
Panic sat in when RancherMan came rushing into the house saying he found the pasture gate open and the two weaning heifers were missing.
We frantically searched the barn paddock and the south pasture, tree lines, creeks, etc. but they were nowhere to be found. Apparently they had nosed the chain enough to unlatch the gate. Then they simply walked down our driveway, out to the road and disappeared.
With our hearts pounding we jumped in the car and started down our county road, quickly looking in the open pastures as we drove along. As my head throbbed, visions of potential outcomes were going through my mind.
What if they went toward the highway? Or they got hit by a car? What if someone got hurt? Where do we even start to look? What if we can’t find them?
Aaahhhh spring! The grass turns a beautiful lush green and the trees start leafing out. And here at the Homestead it also means weaning time for the fall-born calves.
Weaning the calves from their mamas takes a huge nutritional drain off of the dams and allows them to regain their proper body condition in preparation for their next calf. It’s an important health step for a vibrant and healthy herd.
We like our calves to stay with their dam until they are at least 7 months old. But we’ve weaned early when the conditions warranted such as during a drought.