Sunday, May 4, 2014

Out to Pasture

     Due to the recent rain we have been unable to get into the fields and took advantage of this extra time to put a few pairs out to pasture. We utilize AI (artificial insemination) on many of the cows in the herd and do this prior to sending them our to pasture. We plan on starting to AI in a couple weeks so the cows we sent to pasture today are the ones who most recently calved and will not come in heat(be fertile) by the time we are ready to AI. We also took out to pasture the cows who are of lesser quality and we wouldn't use AI on and just let the herd bull breed them. Here are a few pictures of some cute one's as they waited to go out to pasture.
Snowball, my daughter Mary's favorite cow
Snowman, Snowball's steer calf this year
      With 130 cows and calves all mixed together in a big lot it takes a lot of time and patients to find all the mothers and babies that you are wanting and match them up together. As you can see every animal has an ear tag which has their given number as the bigger one on the bottom of the tag and their mothers number is written on top. My job while sorting the cattle was keeping all the numbers straight, knowing who we had picked out and who we still needed to find. Soring cattle is quite difficult because they are big animals and can move fast, they also will do unwise things when they feel scared or threatened. With experience of working with cattle day after day cattle farmers learn how to read the cows movements and thoughts. You can anticipate what their next move is going to be and use that to your advantage.
     Today we had to use the loader tractor to take the trailer to the pastures due the mud from the recent rains. We load the trailer with the cow calf pairs we have picked out. We have to take both the cow and calf in the same load so that they can find each other as soon as they get off the trailer. There is nothing worse than a lost calf or cow. By instinct a calf will try to go back to the last place it saw it's mother and if it is in a new place like a pasture it will run through fences trying to get somewhere familiar.
      Once out at the pasture we back the trailer up and set gates us to funnel the cows and calves in. This is my favorite part where the cows and calves come off of the trailer kicking up their heals so excited to see the green grass and open space. We wait and make sure the pairs are together and no one is left behind and then watch them go running over the hillside. If cows could smile, I think they would have a grin from ear to ear.

I found this group of brothers who do paridy songs about farming.  I think they are great and entertaining.  What great ag promotion in a fun way. This song is one that brings me back to my growing up years on the farm.

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