A few of our 2017 fall calves

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Backbone Ranch

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2013
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North Texas
I was finally able to get back home from college for the first time in a month this past weekend. We ended up giving the 2017 spring calves their first round of vaccinations, and we will be giving them their second round of shots, preg checking the cows, and weaning the calves on November 10th. We calve out our cow herd in the spring, and our first calf heifers in the fall at 2 1/2 years of age. Our heifers started calving on September 18th this year, and we had 7 of the 8 heifers calve within 16 days of each other. The first calf of the season was born backwards and had a foot turned back; although she was only 70 lbs, she had to be pulled and was born dead. The other six, two bulls and four heifers, were born quickly and easily and are all doing well. These first seven calves averaged 62.86 lbs at birth, so we are very happy about that. I know that they are still really young, but three of the heifer calves look really nice, and one of the bull calves looks like he has a lot of potential. I was able to get photos of two of the heifers and the bull calf that I am really liking.
This first heifer is pictured at 14 days of age. She is the smallest calf that we have ever had, weighing in at only 46 lbs at birth. She is much smaller than we would have liked, but she is growing really well. She is out of our current herdsire, BB Uncle Tony, and our cow, BB Goldie. BB Goldie was the first AI sired heifer that we ever had born on our place. Goldie is pictured in the photo below her calf about two months before calving.


This next heifer is another that I am liking a lot. She is pictured here at 13 days and her birth weight was 68 lbs. Her mother is a little smaller framed, but has plenty of milk and is a real easy keeper. I am excited to see how this one turns out. The second picture shows her dam when she was 19 months old. This calf is also a daughter of Tony.


I really like this last calf. He is pictured below at 22 days of age. His birth weight was 68 lbs, and we have not had a bull calf look this good from the start before. We will definitely be keeping our eye on this one over the coming months. He too is a Tony son. The photo of this calf's mother was taken when she was 20 months old.

Thank you for all of the comments! I am really excited to see how these calves turn out.

kenny thomas":2in4z67a said:
What's the frame score of your cows.
Most of our herd is in the frame 3-5 realm. The cows that are threes are a little shorter than I like, so we are really shooting for a frame 4 or so. As I say this, our best cow for a number of years was a 1250 lb, frame 3 cow that consistently produced the best calves every year. The first and third first-calf heifers pictured are right around a frame 4.

frieghttrain":2in4z67a said:
I've always liked that first ones dam. Great pictures and cattle
We really like her dam too. She is probably our best first-calf heifer when it comes to a combination of milking ability, mothering ability, and overall phenotype. I believe that we will be breeding 4 or 5 cows to her sire, Cadella Park Golden Boy, next year in hopes of getting a few more like her on the ground.
Backbone, our Maine Anjou x Hereford heifer was around 45-50 pounds at birth. She is now a frame 4-5 and is my favorite black with white face.

If you live where it can get muddy there is a definite benefit to a frame 4-5. She can walk on a sloppy road without sinking to her hock.

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