Hooray for the Red, White & Blue

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Baby Boom

The new calf shed got a workout on Saturday night. The County Line calf crop got off to a running start with three calves born to heifers.

Randy doesn't need a gym membership. He got both cardio and weight training in as he carried two of the three calves to the shed. Naturally, one of them was about as far away as it could have been. (In the photo below, you can see it lying beside the fence behind Randy.) The little black-white face was a bit closer - but not a lot. Only one of the three walked the distance ... with a little nudging along the way.
My farmer had his eyes shut, so his face got cropped out.
 
At first, the heifers (first-time mamas) were a little confused about which baby belonged to which. But after watching them for a little bit, Randy matched up the pairs.
We got them separated into the three pens and left them to get acquainted.
However, one of the calves was slow to get up, and the mama wasn't all that interested either.

So, on our third trip out to check on them, we got the mama in the head gate and Randy tried his skills as a milkman.
He fed the colostrum to the baby, using an oral calf feeding bag. (I tried photos, but I was also holding the bag in the air, and I didn't have much luck with multi-tasking.)

By the next morning, the calf had nursed on its own. And even though they were both new to their respective roles, they got them figured out. Nature is a miraculous thing.
By Sunday afternoon, all three of the calves were cleaned off and ready for their class photos. (The photos I took on Saturday really did remind me of school photos. Sometimes, you just need to take advantage of retake day.)
The black-white face was up and roaming with its mama. The other two were hunkered down, one near a feeder and the other in some weeds. Not everybody appreciates the paparazzi, I guess.

10 comments:

  1. Your Class of 2016 is off and running! I laughed at your analogy of school pictures and retakes. Good luck with this year's freshmen!

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    1. Thanks, Cindy! Hope things are going well on your journey.

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  2. Randy did well to hand milk a heifer and not get kicked. I can't imagine she would have been overly receptive!

    Your new shed looks to be working a treat. How nice (aka relieved) it must be to have it ready and set up just in time.

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    1. Yes, she cooperated well, especially for a first-time mama. Having the head gate really helps in situations like that.

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  3. I love a little baldy face! J and I always think if we are going to be up and checking heifers we might as well be busy. Sounds like you got a good start last weekend. So the fun begins! Looks like the weather must be nice.

    We are enjoying a January thaw. Temps are mild and the will be for the rest of the week. Yesterday was breezy and sounds like tomorrow is going to be windy.

    Thursday or Friday J wants to run the first calf heifers through the chute and give them a booster shot. We will sort off the second calvers and granny cows and put them back with the main group of cows.

    Good Luck calving and be safe.

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    1. Thanks, Robyn! I, do, too! This week is really nice. We didn't run any prospective mothers in the shed last night because the temperature wasn't going to be that bad, and nothing looked imminent. Next week, we're supposed to go back to winter. They'll probably wait until then - ha!

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  4. So lovely to read of life on your farm. What a difference the new shed must make.

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    1. Thanks for visiting the County Line and taking time to comment! We are definitely enjoying the shed.

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  5. I was amazed at how calm that heifer looks as he milks her for the first time! They can be a handful sometimes! Glad to hear the calf is doing better.

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    1. Yes, she definitely cooperated. That was a plus!

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