Monday, June 29, 2015

Calf explosion


As the calves keep on coming, the harvest is happening too.

Juuust in between the rain storms, Kris and the guys managed to cut, chop, and pile up the second cutting of alfalfa.  Then the guys (and the little guys) put tires on the pile.

The first calves were born on June 8, and since then we now have 60 heifers.  We've had about the same amount of bulls, but we sell them twice a week to a farmer who raises them as steers.

So all day long, every day, there are pastures to check.  Cows to check on.  Calves to take care of, take into the barn, feed colostrum, and feed water.  The calves get fed milk twice a day, eat grain at a week old, and drink free choice water all day long.

We have a girl working for us who is going to vet school in the fall.  She has a lot of experience on farms, but Kris said he showed her a trick my dad taught him ...

Sometimes you are in a place where you have to help a cow calve by pulling her calf.  Usually you use calf pulling chains.  You put the chains around the calf's front feet and pull it out.

If he was in a pasture far from the chains (admittedly we own four of them, but it happens if you're not in the truck) my dad would take off his belt, loop it around the calves' hooves, and use that to pull a calf.

My dad taught Kris, Kris taught the employees, and everyone uses it as a backup.  Kris and Josh both did it last week.  (Nice, solid belt material!)

When people talk about a belt-and-suspenders solution, I always think of this belt use.  No one around here wears suspenders, but I'm sure - if necessary - they could be fashioned into a calf-puller too.

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