Tuesday, February 21, 2006

So You Want To Be A Cowboy...

I got up this morning and went through my usual routine, but as I was leaving the house, I noticed a cow not too far away that was in labor. I didn't know when she started so I decided to let her have a few more minutes to calve naturally, and went up to my folks and ate breakfast and fed some cattle up there.

Dad and I came back down here to see what was up with the cow, and that's when you could tell that it was going to require our assistance. So we jumped on the 4-wheelers because they were here, and tried to get her into the corral. Once we got close enough, we could also tell she too was a first timer, and it was also obvious that the calf was beyond saving. That means he was already dead.

We couldn't get her into the corral, and as I jumped off the bike to head her off, she lowered her head and tried to run me over. Because the calf was already dead, there was really no reason to get her in the corral except to catch her so we could finish pulling the corpse out. But now that she decided to put her forehead on my belly button, I could catch her without the use of the corral. See how fortunate that was?

Truth be told, I was slightly out of position, and she wound up on my left side so it wouldn't be a traditional bulldogging, but I grabbed her head anyway, and took her down. Then I kept holding her down while dad went back and got the calf pulling stuff.

When he got back we switched places and I pulled the little bugger out. Sad really. One of his front legs had gotten hung up slightly and that had wedged him in to the point that he couldn't come out. All I had to do is just pull a little bit on the leg and he came right out. But for a couple inches everything would have been allright. As it is, one more in the loss column.

If it seems like there's a lot of death and problems, welcome to the cow business. Most ranchers figure on a 10% death loss. Think about that. That means for every 9 live births you plan on losing 1. If you come in under that figure, you're above average, and you make a little more. The sad thing that you end up realizing is that some are just destined to die. No matter how much you care for them or how careful you are, they are going to die.

Now the crows and coyotes like this arrangement, but me... not so much. However that's just life in these here parts.

6 Comments:

Anonymous bc said...

I remember you telling me about that one night where it was so bitter cold and you had to do rounds just to make sure that you got more survivors.

BTW..hows the odd pair doing? The calf with no mom and the mom with no calf.

And Im not going to mention the word verif this time... its not a nice thing to call you. ;o)

2/21/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger LL said...

The cow took to the calf and is nursing him like her own. We'll probably turn them out today.

"And Im not going to mention the word verif this time... its not a nice thing to call you. ;o)"

Those are the kind that you should post, they don't come along that often. Right now mine's jsjnrkov. Now how can you call someone that?

2/22/2006 7:49 AM  
Blogger Stellar said...

Are these the same breed of cows? You're not cloning long extinct saber-toothed cows and implanting them into your everyday Angus, are you?

Because you need a Brahma for that.

Once they have a bad breech, do you breed them again or is it a trait of the cow after that?

We used to keep a few head of beef cattle on a hundred acres near here. It was an investment... cheaper than the super market and it kept my dad occupied.

We had a Hereford and bred her with a Charolais, the offspring looked Charolais, but we bred her with an Angus and the offspring was a white-faced Angus. Can't figure that one out. They all tasted the same to me.

2/22/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Sounds like the success rate of our doctors is similar to yours, but I don't think they hold 'em down here.

2/22/2006 12:34 PM  
Anonymous bc said...

"Those are the kind that you should post, they don't come along that often. Right now mine's jsjnrkov. Now how can you call someone that?"

It was dkfsh... LOLOL

The one right now is dublugpc...

2/22/2006 3:47 PM  
Blogger LL said...

"You're not cloning long extinct saber-toothed cows and implanting them into your everyday Angus, are you?"

No comment. It's a proprietary process.

"Once they have a bad breech, do you breed them again or is it a trait of the cow after that?"

Everyone we've ever talked to say that breeches are something that happens but aren't tied to any specific cause. Just the luck of the draw. This cow will be fine from here on out. The first one though, well... I doubt I'll get another calf out of her.

"we bred her with an Angus and the offspring was a white-faced Angus. Can't figure that one out. "

That usually happens with that cross. Anytime you breed a white faced animal to a solid color, the offspring usually maintain the white face. I guess the proper term for them is black baldies (black with a bald face), but in everyday speak it's more like a black bally.

" Sounds like the success rate of our doctors is similar to yours, but I don't think they hold 'em down here."

Erm... you talking 'bout vets or people doctors?

dkfsh eh? well... fzscxs to you too!

2/22/2006 4:16 PM  

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