This year has already been full of firsts here at G&B Ranch.
The double digit below zero temps meant we had to bring newly born calves into our calf warming area in the basement. We have always had this area ready to go every calving season, but never have had to use it. Four calves ended up rotating inside to get warmed while their fur dried.
A cow calved breach. We are thankful for low birth weights on that one. She managed to have him with only a gentle hand pull assistance from me. His hair is still all facing the wrong way, but seems no worse for the way he entered into the world.
An awesome item we just installed is a calving barn camera. It even has sound so we can talk back and forth. I don't mean the husband and I, I mean the cows can talk to me and I can encourage them. I am watching Stash with Stitch right now peacefully napping. Charlotte is up next and pacing in and out of one of the stalls trying to decide whether she should eat or have a baby.
The next item to check off our list is embryo transplants. This is a dream of mine since assisting with ET in junior high. Callie did great. It is nice to hear from the vet your cows are always welcome at his place because they are so easy to handle. Ester is being flushed this weekend. We have plenty of fertile commercial mommas waiting to take on their embryos. Exciting to think about having a bunch of Callie and Ester calves running about in 2018!
We are also blessed with a few heifers so far this calving season which will extend our GB lines several dams deep. It is great to feel like we are building our own style into a great set of cows.
Another first for this calving season was losing a calf. We knew it was inevitable, but hoped we could hold it off another year. Wilma was on my radar, but I missed checking her. I came out to feed and saw she had a stillborn calf just before my arrival on scene. Wilma, being a heifer, did not really know what had happened. It took her about 10 days to sort it out. She even went through a time where she was clearly depressed. Fortunately, she has returned to her normal self. Unfortunately, she has plenty of spare time to think of stuff to do, most of which is not constructive. Idle hooves...
Speaking of idle time, I have very little these days! Be sure to check in on our Midland Bull Test bulls tag numbers 608 and 609. Cheers