Browsing Tag

cows

Meet Your Beef

Perseverance, Some Strong Rope, and Serious Luck

September 20, 2013

Over the last weekend we had another set of twins (remember how I said twins were a pain in the butt? That’s definitely still true). We also had a different cow that sadly lost her calf last week due to unknown reasons. Losing a calf is horrible and far from ideal but, the fact of the matter is, when you deal with animals you deal with nature and nature is sometimes a force to be reckoned with. These circumstances left us with yet another opportunity to graft a calf (taking one of the twins and giving her a new mother). The video above shows her happily (you can tell this just by looking at how fast her little tail is goin’) having supper with her new mother for the first time.

Getting these two to accept each other is somewhat of an art and will be a VERY long process for us on the .7 Ranch. You may remember from the last post how we grafted that calf by taking the hide from the calf who died and attaching it to the twin just like a little jacket. We got lucky with that situation as the timing was perfect and that method is virtually foolproof. This cow had lost her calf 5 days before the twins were born and therefore we did not have the hide to use.

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Calving Season 2013, Meet Your Beef

Wasn’t broke but needed fixin’

September 9, 2013
Cuteness overload!

Cuteness overload!

Can we talk about how cute this calf is?  Just for a second though because we’ve got to get down to business here.  But first, make sure you notice she’s got white eyelashes!

Besides her eyelashes, you may also notice some duct tape around the lower half of her front leg.  Let’s discuss that.  This little heifer was born with what you call “contracted tendons”.  The result of this is the calf being unable to properly extend its leg(s).

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Calving Season 2013, Meet Your Beef

Calving Season 2013

August 27, 2013

Well, it’s here!  The best time of year (besides maybe payday and my personal favorite, Christmas).

Calving season means a lot of things for us on the .7 ranch.  It means having all hands on deck 24/7 watching the cows by checking on them multiple times a day.  It means new life and sometimes harsh realities of life but it also means the beginnings to a paycheck.

This last Sunday my mom had spent the morning checking all the cows and bringing up the first calf heifers* who were getting close to calving.  She had let my brother and I know that there was a heifer that she thought was starting to calve and to check on her first thing when we arrived.  When I got there that afternoon, said heifer was certainly in labor. A crick in her tail and some mucus coming out her back end.  About 10 minutes later there were three of us there watching her every move.  Below are the chain of events in pictures.  I apologize for the vulgarity of the first picture but I warned ya it was my intention to show exactly how this ranching thing works 🙂

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*Clarification: first calf heifers are the females who have yet to have a calf. We pull them out of the herd (always with a buddy) and put them close to the barn so we can monitor them more closely in case there are any complications.  Because these animals are rookies to being a mother we take extra precautions to ensure live and healthy calves.