Harvest Gold

Harvest Gold

Monday, April 4, 2016

Synchronicity Heifer-Style

Have a little synchronicity with your breakfast, ladies!

From March 18-31, our 25 yearling heifers have had their silage topped with MGA. MGA stands for melengestrol acetate, which suppresses the ovulation cycle for the heifers. For 14 days, Randy added the MGA to the silage and fed the equivalent of 1/2 a pound per head per day.

This is the first step in getting  the heifers to come into estrus (or heat) at the same time. These young ladies were born in early 2015. In 2017, they will become mothers for the first time.

Later this month, Randy will give each heifer a shot of Lutalyse, which makes the heifers come into estrus (or heat).

So why do we try to synchronize the heifers' cycles? We do it to shorten the calving season for the heifers, which saves labor at calving time. (Well, it saves some labor for the humans - not the mama cows.) Because heifers are first-time mamas, we check them frequently in case they are having trouble calving.

I was the feed truck driver on a recent morning and again got a bird's-eye view of the process. They seemed to belly up to the feed troughs just fine, so it must taste OK.
Being in the feed truck always provides a new point of view.
Fill er up!
We also fed regular silage to the mama cows. It looked like a hot breakfast on a chilly morning, with the steam coming off the feed.


6 comments:

  1. Are your animals Hereford? I'm guessing that because of the white faces. We had a hereford/holstein cross once, to a cow that wouldn't settle, and he quickly became a steer and eventually went into our freezer.

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    1. We are a crossbred operation with Angus and Hereford bloodlines.

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  2. I can almost hear Randy say, "Let's synchronize our cows--I mean, watches!" Great photo of the hot breakfast!

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    1. Thanks! It's a different perspective to see it from the feed truck height.

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  3. That sure is one big heap of silage.
    The feed truck is pretty impressive too. Are there 2 in the distance in the 1st pic?

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    1. No. There are two combines sitting in the distance - the one we just bought at a farm auction and the one we'd had for a dozen years, which just got sold yesterday to another farmer.

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