Sorting Cattle and Calving Heifers

The first half of last week was warm. Warm like, record setting high temperatures in the Hills. On the prairie we saw temperatures in the upper 60’s. Wednesday night we had a major cool down. I would say our temperatures are still above normal for February, but a cloudy windy damp day in the low 30’s feels chilly. We’ve had a few flurries pass through, but no snow accumulation.

Sounds like the beginning of this week will be similar with 30* type days. They are talking warmer temperatures towards the end of the week.

With all this warm weather a lot of the snow melted. The prairie is basically brown with snow in the deep draws. The snow melt ran enough water to fill a few small dams, but the majority of the moisture was soaked up by the land. The really big snow drifts shrunk considerably and those that melted into the cattle corrals made a muddy sloppy mess.

The picture below is from gathering cows to feed them cake (also called range cubes). These girls were excited to eat cake! We like to feed cake in the morning then the girls go graze the rest of the day. Since we had a snow covered December, we were unable to feed cake. Now that the snow has melted we can supplement with cake. The cows have not real enthusiastic about eating hay and prefer to go out and graze.

Tuesday J’s folks came home to help sort yearlings and pick replacement heifers. This task is a lot more fun at 68* vs. 18*. I’ll take muddy corrals over cold and wind. By the end of the day we were glad to get out of our slop covered shoes and stinky clothes. Below is a picture of Rosie after sorting. She did a good job helping, but had to sleep in her dog house.

I tried a new recipe for dinner on Tuesday. I’m a little leery about internet recipes that have gone “viral” as I have made several that did not turn out. This recipe for French Dip sandwiches looked like a safe risk. It was a delicious success and one that makes my list for feeding cattle working crews.

Wednesday morning we said goodbye to a nice group of heifers, the folks went back to the Hills and J had a late morning meeting. When J got home from town we moved bunks in preparation to switch the first calf heifers closer to the barn and the yearlings to the pasture the bred heifers were in.

We made the cattle switcheroo Thursday morning. J had a gut feeling, so Thursday night we brought the heifers into the corrals so we could check them. J went out about 9:00 pm and found a baby! The first time mamma was a little nervous, but the calf was up and looking for some milk. We’ve had several more calves since. Calving season 2017 has officially started.

With the warm temperatures the heifers and yearlings have been scratching like crazy. Saturday morning J and I ran the two groups of cattle in and poured them. That should put a stop to the itching and rubbing on fences.

Saturday evening we went to supper at a neighbor’s house. They decided to have a pre-calving get together. There were four couples that gathered for visiting, good food and a fun evening.

Sunday afternoon found us working cattle. We ran Cousin T’s herd through the chute to give them a pre-calving shot and pour them. We will do the same to our cows later this week.

And because Annie the Mini Aussie (Miniature Australian Shepherd) is such a pretty little dog, here is another picture of her.

As February winds down they are talking for March to come in like a lamb. I like that thought, but worry about what kind of lion March will go out as.

Jim Whitt recently shared this quote by Napoleon Hill on his Facebook page “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” I like optimistic thoughts.

Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sorting Cattle and Calving Heifers

  1. Darcy says:

    Best of luck with calving! And what a fun idea to have a “pre-calving party”!

  2. Kim's County Line says:

    We are going to sell feeder calves this week, so we’ll be sorting off replacement heifers tomorrow afternoon. We should have a nice day for it. The semi will come to pick up the feeder calves for the sale barn on Wednesday AM and the sale is Thursday.

    I hope calving continues to go well for you. We had a bunch of calves last Wednesday, which was an opportune day. It was colder over the weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *