Tonight's blog is brought to you by the resident expert, Farmer Joe! In between church, 4-H, football, and now yelling at the Illini (why are they losing?), he's chronicled the first important moments in "processing" a new calf. The kids and I were excited to join him in this adventure, and I hope you enjoy his explanation. Happy Sunday!
Calving Season on the Webel farm kicked off today, or more accurately, last night between 9 pm and midnight! The new mother is a purebred Simmental heifer that we bought at the Silvertowne Farms sale last September. My commercial heifers are due to calve starting on February 5th, so we've got a little break in the schedule! The kids were excited to go see the new baby, so we thought we'd document the process of what we do with a new baby calf for our readers.
|The kids were excited to go see the new baby.|
Next, we weigh the calf. Birth weight is an important piece of information, as it is a very hereditary trait. Statistics are generated on all registered animals based on production information such as birth weight, ease of delivery, and weaning and yearling weights that help to compare an animal's value. If you have a bunch of calves coming from a particular bull, tracking birth weight can help you know what to expect from the cows that have yet to calve.
|72 pounds. An ideal weight for a first-time calver. Cows can have calves that weigh between 60 and 110 lbs.|
|Applying the tag.|
|Showing the girls how to fill out the calving recordbook.|
|Anna shows Josie the heifers that she'll show this summer.|
|The kiddos, in their appropriate ag-related hats!|
Have any questions about this? Joe is happy to answer. I was just standing there, snapping pictures, so if your question involves things like, "what type of boots were you wearing, Emily?" or "was it cold?" I can handle those...