Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 28: Preg Check


Not me.

The mama cows.

Yesterday Joe spent the majority of his day "in the southbound end of a northbound cow" (one of my least favorite phrases ala Joe Webel). The vet, the vet tech (who is a woman, a friend of my friend, and who evidently was keeping Joe in check when he was making comparisons between me and the cows...another not so favorite thing of mine!), and Joe, along with a neighbor's hired man checked another group of our cows, seventy, I think, to see if they were indeed pregnant.

This is quite a process. While I am well versed in the art of preg-checking myself...thanks to the good folks at First Response...cows are a lot less excited to be preg checked. Now, there isn't an enormous stick they need to pee on (sorry Mom, this is way too graphic), which is what I thought would be the case. It's a lot more intense. It's a lot more wrangling and getting them in the chute and then YOWZA...they're checked.

I'm making the cattle folks who read this roll their eyes at my lack of knowledge in this area, but really, I was surprised at how labor (no pun intended) intensive this process is. Joe spent the morning getting this group (because he does them in shifts, on different days) moved to the right place, settled, and comfortably close to the chute and corral where the preg checking would take place. Then, after lunch, the vet and vet tech and helper came and they had to do more wrangling and a lot of getting in these girls' business.

I will spare you the I don't even want to know!

Anyway, my point to this post is not to gross you out, but to congratulate another section of our herd on their big announcement(s). This is our commodity, and we need these girls (young and old) to produce so that we can keep our herd going. Joe is a good breeder, and works with not just the basics of caring for the herd, but also keeps their genetics in mind when breeding them. Bulls are chosen based on a laundry list of "good traits," and once the mamas have had one baby (thus becoming bred heifers...which I have been referred to...isn't that lovely?), Joe considers how they birthed, how they cared for their newborns, nursed, etc. before considering breeding them or selling them off.

It's a process.

I wonder if I was chosen by my cattle man based upon an annotated version of this list.

I don't even want to know.

Linking up with Miss Holly for her 30 Days on a Prairie Farm series!!

1 comment:

  1. What a hoot! We spent last spring on a ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California and watched spring round up as these mamas and yearlings were corralled, separated, ear-tagged, and "de-bulled" (boys only!). Lots of work goes into the raising of good beef cattle. Certainly entertaining from the sidelines!