Monday, June 13, 2011

Here they're come two by two

Cow/Calf pairs

This is an exciting time of year on a cattle operation. Cows spending all their time grazing the pasture, nursing their calves and it's amazing to watch how the calves change so quickly. Everytime I head out to the pasture it amazes me how much they grew in the last 5 days of seeing them.
Beef cows nurse their calves until they are old enough to be weaned. On our farm we also provide the calves with grain mixture which they can eat free choice. This is called creep feed, it's stored in a separate area of the pasture so just the calves (not cows) have access to the creep feed. This method of raising calves allows them get added nutrients; being bigger and stronger at weaning so the transition is easier.
So when are calves weaned from their mothers? Ideally calves are weaned from their mother around 7-8 months of age. This is typically a stressful time for cows and calves, however the creep feed they were given while on their mother helps make this transition easier since they are already accustom to grain.
This is my cow, Miley, with her calf (name TBD). Miley's calf was born in February. This pair is the one thing I look forward to every weekend. Miley was my show heifer last year so I'm especially close to her. Over the past year and a half I've watch Miley be a successful show heifer and now to see her raise her own calf has been a rewarding feeling:)
They are getting ready to be shown at the Junior National Hereford Expo in July.
Calves usually don't get too far away from their mommas. Here they are on an evening stroll in the pasture at the Starr Farm.

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