Gotta keep good records!

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Aug 9, 2016
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Mason Dixon Line
I took over my grandfathers herd last year and have had to sort out a lot of stuff so things have not been quite the way I'd like them to be to say the least. I wasn't as involved this time last year as I should have been but was playing catch up on fixing fence, getting pastures in better shape, etc, etc. My note taking was lacking and I had limited info on who calved what and when. Several cows didn't even have ear tags anymore until I was able to get the fences and facilities back up to snuff to even work them through the chute. This year I'm on a much better track of significant improvement. Anyway, last year I had a stillborn that I wasn't quite sure who it belonged to because there were several deadbeats in the herd. Got rid of what I knew needed to go, and when calving was finished I determined who the culprit was through process of elimination. For some reason I never put her on the cull list at weaning time and she got forgotten about. Had another dead calf a few weeks ago, knew who it was immediately because she was standing over it still. Dead one last year was a couple days old when I found it (wasn't able to check every day like I do now). Was looking through my notes last night and it dawned on me it's the same cow from last year... :mad: Needless to say she's got herself a guaranteed bus ticket and I'm sitting here kicking myself that I fed a worthless cow that long. At least it makes me feel better about why I'm spending more time to try to get things right! Just wanted to share my rookie mistake!
I feel your pain. Our very first cow was called pregnant that Nov. but at some point over that winter miscarried her calf. (We didn't have fence up yet; she wintered in rough country at a neighbor's, with some ornery cows). Brought her home come spring; waited for her to calf and she didn't; had miscarried apparently over the winter. That summer, she was in heat, busted out and got knocked up by a different neighbor's little 10 mo Holstein. (Ours is Reg. Angus). We didn't lute her bc neighbor (an experienced cow guy) said his little bull could have in no way bred her. (She was BIG). Promptly sent her up to visit a third neighbor's nice Angus bull. She gets knocked up right quick. Next summer, calf comes and yup, baby daddy was the Holstein teenager! Argh. Sell calf to a friend after weaning. Next, we AI the mama to a good Reg. Angus bull. She takes, easy. Called pregnant. Next summer, looks very preggers. No calf--lost it along the way again. Sold her as beef at the sale barn. She was fertile as all-get-out, just couldn't keep the pregnancy. Vet couldn't find any anomaly. So, fed her for 4 years and all we got was one mongrel calf.

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