Monday, February 13, 2012

According to Calculations

There is a method to calving, I have learned. Our first group of bred heifers (for all of you who might have had to google this term, it means first time moms) are the ones who Joe is the most concerned about right now. Having never calved, they are the ones who might need the most help, and thus, are shut in at the calving barn, receiving night-time feedings.

According to Joe's dad (and other cattlemen), if you feed an expectant mama at night, then she should not necessarily calve until the morning, thus, making it easier to assist, thanks to daylight and warmer temperatures. Joe follows this to a T, even though generally when he needs to leave is after dinner when I'm starting to give the kids a bath and would appreciate an extra set of hands.

But I'm digressing.

This is for the first time mamas.

The rest of the "old cows" (which, having four kids, I am now considered one if ever I am compared to livestock, which happens more than you would like to think) are out in the various spots around our farm, on stalks, and also in places where they can get out of the wind and elements. According to Joe's calculations, these mamas should have been bred after the heifers and won't start calving until all the heifers are done.

However, sometimes the methods to the madness don't work out as expected, but since Joe is a dedicated, meticulous cattleman, he notices when his cows are not necessarily acting as they should. For example, a mama cow who is about to calve generally goes off by herself.

So, yesterday, when Joe was feeding, he noticed a particular older cow, off in the distance. After checking her number, he realized who she was. She was a mama who required extra care last spring, and thus was up in the barn lot with two yearling bulls, and thus was rebred before the rest of the other cows.

Anyway, back to yesterday, Joe noticed this lady by herself and decided to be safe than sorry. He hauled her from the field to the calving barn, and sure enough, his calculations were correct! She is the proud mama of a healthy calf this morning!

How exciting when things happen according to calculations, planning and, well, luck. I think I could be a half way decent cattlewoman, as I am a crazy person about scheduling, planning, and organizing.

If I could just get used to the poop...

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