Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Fritz Carlton West

The Fritz Carlton is open for business.

Let me pause here to confess that I appropriated my son's name for his house in Manhattan. When he moved back to the Little Apple and bought a house just blocks from the football stadium, his abode became a popular bed-and-breakfast spot for his fraternity brothers. OK, he doesn't usually provide breakfast. He's more likely to provide dinner. It's nearly impossible to get a "reservation" at the Fritz Carlton during K-State's football season (though he's always told us that we can have priority booking).

So, let's just say the Fritz Carlton West has opened for business. The founding members of the Class of 2019 began arriving on Sunday. Two calves were born on that relatively mild day. 
This little guy got the very first ear tag of the year. His number and the rest of his classmates begin with a "9." That signifies he was born in 2019.
This system allows us to know at a glance when the animal was born, especially important if it remains in our herd.
As an example, its mother has a 767 tag, so it was born in 2017. In the case of our newest additions on the County Line so far, all of the mothers have a 7-- tag. 
They are heifers: In other words, they are first-time mothers. They were born in January and February two years ago. They were the 25 females we kept at the end of calving season in 2017 to become the newest mothers in our herd in 2019. We keep the heifers in a corral east of our house so that Randy can check them frequently. First-time moms have the potential for more calving problems than older females, though we try to mitigate that by using bulls that produce lower birth weight progeny.
With the first calves born on a fairly warm day, they didn't need a "room in the inn" - or the calving shed, in our case.
Monday was a little chillier. But, since it was early afternoon when this little guy was born and the mom had already licked it off, Randy decided a move to dry straw for the afternoon would give the calf a cozy spot. Those calves are heavy when you're carrying them across a muddy lot. (Not that I would know personally.)
It wasn't long before No. 902 was trying to stand.
And we were there when it took its first steps. (Randy was wishing it had been a little more mobile so he wouldn't have had to carry it!)
The coldest night of the year so far was Tuesday night. This baby was the first guest in Fritz Carlton West, our calving shed. (Learn more about the calving shed here and here.)
After it warmed up out of the wind in the cozy straw, Randy added its eartag and pushed it out the door to rejoin its mom. (Many times, the moms are with them in the shed, but this heifer's mom didn't want a spot in the "motel.")
We were both pushing the calf out to the bigger lot. And then we discovered that we had made a tactical error.
Randy took off across the lot to get a closer look at the other mothers-to-be. And it was like he was the Pied Piper to little No. 903.
Are you my mother? (For the record, the mom and No. 903 have found one another and all is well.)

Two other new babies born Wednesday afternoon and their mamas spent the night in the calving shed last night. Randy also put another three heifers he thought might be close to calving in the shed - just in case.
You know I said that Brent doesn't provide breakfast at his version of the Fritz Carlton. (Most of the time, they're going to a tailgate before the game anyway.) Well, neither do we for the young set, though we provide plenty of hay and feed for their moms.
The Fritz Carlton in Manhattan sometimes provides dinner. We don't have to do that either.


  1. I just love everything about this post!! Those new calves are just so adorable, with their sweet little faces! Remind me...are they Hereford? Randy the Pied Piper...glad the little one got it figured out!

    1. They are crossbred. We have both Angus and Hereford blood lines.

  2. Totally agree with Alica. Such a happy positive post.

  3. Once the heifers got started, they've been calving fast and furious. We've had half of them in one week. We've had four calves from cows so far, so they are getting started, too.