Sunday, March 1, 2015

Calving Season has Begun

The inlaws were gone on a road trip, so I got to help on the farm this morning. Mainly my purpose was opening gates while the Hubby used the bale processor to spread some straw. Immediately the girls were happy to lay down. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to bed down in all the snow that came down this morning either.
I caught the Hubby off guard and got a picture....and he is smiling! This was while he was showing me what he had been working on in the shop. He won't be impressed when he sees it.

I was on gate duty. The cows didn't know who was more interesting to watch.

We keep the heifers in the corral until they calve. 
They are checked at least every two hours in case the need help. Heifers have a higher rate of the calf needing to pulled, but it is all around preferable to let nature take it's course. 
This is the first calf of 2015. She was born 3 days ago and rode with the Hubby in the feeding pickup to warm up while he got her momma in the barn. We were getting one a day after until this morning when 3 were born with another 3-4 looking to follow suite. Synchronizing worked.

The barn has several pens for the new moms and babies. They get hay and water and turned out to pasture after the littles are dry and determined likely not to chill down. Usually within 12-24 hrs. They get clean straw for bedding and hay and fresh water while in the pens. It also cuts down on the risk of babies getting trampled or "stolen" by heifers who haven't had their own calf but want to mother the baby without any means of feeding it.

This little one is a few hours old. Her mama did not appreciate me being a lookey-lou.

The old pig shed that will be torn down. I'm trying to talk the Hubby into building me a milking stall here. 3 sided, open to the south with a calf pen for separating the calf overnight. Then I can milk once a day and turn the pair out together. I don't think he is warming up to my milk cow dreams.

More pictures of the Heifers.

He didn't trust me to meet him where he wanted me. So I was on standby and told to "just follow"

I so enjoyed getting to come help. Even if it was just to open and close gates and put out a little mineral. I like to think of it as my gradual training to do the feeding when the Hubby is playing Army during Guard weekends.

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