Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Herd Work

This is the time of year we have to get the spring calving cow/calf pairs up to work.  
 Since it is summer vacation, we have some built in helpers.  V rode up on the 4-wheeler and I rode Hank.  This farm is a little over 2 miles up the gravel road from our house so it makes for a nice horse back ride.
 J was in charge and gave us all directions.  Getting the cattle in the pens was a breeze.
 We then sorted the cows and calves.
 Don't they look pitiful without their moms.   It's a pretty uniform bunch though.
 V was a real pro at the headgate.  This one is older and hangs up sometimes but she soon got it figured out.
 We vaccinated the cows and ear tagged,castrated,implanted and vaccinated the calves.
 E was practicing her pharmacy skills by mixing the vaccine and drawing up the right amount.
 J's ear tagging system has changed over the years.  He use to tag the calves with the mom's number preceded by the last digit of the year.  The problem came when he would keep heifers. Then sometimes we would have several calves with the same number (mom, daughters, granddaughters all with the same number having calves).  It also meant he had to catch the calves at birth to tag them.  He has since gotten tired, smart and waits to tag them when we work them.  But this means he doesn't always know the mom's number so now it is just random.
Everything went well and Hank patiently waited for the return trip home.  Now we have to do the 80 here and the house on Friday.


Crystal said...

Calves are looking good! We do ours at a branding and invite the neighbors. Much less labour intesive (for us) and much more fun ;)

Alica said...

Looks like you've got a good system going. Your cows are cooperative...I've rarely experienced getting cows in a pen to be "a breeze"! :)

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