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  1. Putangitangi

    Which way do your yards face?

    My current, uncovered race runs North-South (I'm in the southern hemisphere, so will turn all my directions around so as to work for Northern Hemisphere thinking), with some big trees shading the Southern end. My cows walk from bright sunlight into the shadow when they go up the race. In the...
  2. Putangitangi

    Cattle yards working directions?

    We're about to build new yards. Most of the designs we've looked at have cattle being worked in an anti-clockwise direction. Is there any science about which way cows move best or is that a right-handed designer bias?
  3. Putangitangi

    Calving questions

    I've searched every way I can think of for a figure on the daily weight gain of a calf before birth in the last few days of gestation. This prompted by having to pull a monster calf out of a 3-yr second calver, who calved 11 days later than I expected to an AI bull. I suspect the trouble was...
  4. Putangitangi

    Breaking the amniotic sac?

    If you're going in to help a cow calve and the calf's sac isn't out yet, how do you (do you?) break it before putting ropes/chains on the calf's legs to get it out? Often when I've gone to help, the bag is already broken, so I am in direct contact with the legs and can work with them more easily...
  5. Putangitangi

    Interdigital something - bull foot

    I got the vet to knock this guy over today for a while, to deal with what I expected was going to be a puncture wound infection. It didn't look like it once we cleaned the mud off. Any comments or experience? I saw him wince a while ago - tried to find the note I thought I'd made, but...
  6. Putangitangi


    I wonder if anyone could please point me in the direction of some articles on cattle immunity and how it develops? Or tell me what you know! I know that calves must have colostrum to receive the antibodies their mothers can't transfer before birth but what of those calves which don't, for...
  7. Putangitangi

    Calving Downunder East

    First off the block this season is one of the two-year-olds, with a tiny bull sired by a yearling bull I used because he was born easily enough to his own 2yr-old mother. Always reassuring when the first calf is easy. The heifer is 3/4 Angus with some Hfd/Jersey back a bit. Her mother has...
  8. Putangitangi

    NZ Beef Expo

    Streaming live at the moment and through tomorrow, if you're interested:
  9. Putangitangi

    Photos of twins?

    I write a regular column in a local magazine and I'm on the hunt for a few photos of some twin cattle (in particular, but other species if you like) in colors other than black, since I have a few of those of my own, including a set of identical heifers. If you'd be happy to help, I'll send you...
  10. Putangitangi

    This years calf growth...

    Nearly always. Unless a heifer does a very poor job with her first, I know her production will really kick in the next year. Occasionally a heifer will have lots of milk in her first year, but that's rare in my herd. Do it poorly in the second year as well and you're off!
  11. Putangitangi

    Bladder infection: cautionary tale

    One of my 2yo heifers had an extended calving, ended by us pulling her calf out. It wasn't a difficult pull, but the calf's body was long and she just hadn't been able to get beyond pushing the nose out. I couldn't assist in the paddock and for various reasons didn't get her in during the...
  12. Putangitangi

    Bull conception rates?

    In a mob of 30 cows with a mature bull with no fertility issues, all cows cycling, how many would get in calf on average in the first cycle? Alternatively, if a bull mates a cow, what's the chance of her getting in calf to that mating? I think it's around 70%, or is my memory playing tricks...
  13. Putangitangi

    Premature labour: 258 days

    Yesterday a two-year-old heifer went into labor, standing and walking around with her tail out, lying down pushing, etc. She didn't appear to be expelling any mucus. She was in my insemination mob during mating, so no access to a bull and I inseminated her on 14 Feb, which made this day 258 of...
  14. Putangitangi

    Blood-shot eyes on newborn

    I watched a mature, well-conditioned cow calve this morning. Everything was entirely normal, except perhaps a little more violent rear foot stamping than most of them do. The calf presented well, both front feet, tongue and nose, all as usual, a little bit of a hold-up between neck and chest...
  15. Putangitangi

    Best wakeup call

    My first two calves born this morning, one at 3am (pedigree bull, sire born 1976!) and this two-year-old heifer was in early labor most of the night, I think, and had two feet out when I got up again at 7.30am. I'm not good at staying out of their business during this process, but as I could...
  16. Putangitangi

    When you find a dead one, what happened?

    I lost a lovely heifer this morning - shot her, I mean, because there didn't seem to be much hope she'd come out of the seizure she'd been having for over an hour. But if I hadn't seen her and had found her dead, I'd never have known this happened beforehand. The cows had gathered around her...
  17. Putangitangi

    Lame yearling heifer, your thoughts please?

    A few days ago I found one of my yearling heifers sitting down looking pretty thin (I'd been restricted by an injury for a couple of weeks and the person checking the cattle hadn't noticed anything amiss). When she got up, she could hardly walk, but the pain obviously eased a bit as she went...
  18. Putangitangi

    Opinions on my cows and bull

    I looked for the bull... is he in with them at present? They look in nice condition to me, as a grass-only farmer mating yearlings each year. Whether they're big enough already is hard to tell from a photo - what is their age? Generally, if they've been well-resourced to that extent...
  19. Putangitangi

    Lucky save!

    Feed is still a bit tight, so I leave my cows grazing the hill paddocks for as long as I can before bringing them onto the flat calving paddocks. Sometimes I miss one. Fortunately I got there for a check at just the right time. One near-term cow wasn't with the others, so we tracked some...
  20. Putangitangi

    Gestation records

    If you keep reliable records for your herd, what's your average gestation and range? Mine are Angus (breeding up from a mixed bag of dairy-cross and some pure-bred) and they average 278.9 for heifers and 280.3 for bulls. Longest is 290 days (7 times), shortest 268 (three times). That's on 570...