New season...again

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farmerjan

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Happy New Year to you. Congrats on all the up and going healthy calves.

We are having mud and more mud.... rain, just crummy wet weather. Have a couple of late "fall calvers" to go.... they will get held back and put into the spring calving group next year. They have been late every year so not really behind.... going right at 12 months.... but want to get the fall calvers done earlier so will hold them and put them out with the cows that calve in the spring. Since we are holding our spring calves and weaning and feeding, would like to get the cows calving window tightened up and then we will be able to not deal with calves in this weather. Get done calving by Dec 1st so the calves have a few weeks on them before we get into much cold; since it seems like we are getting more of this wet and stuff late into the month of Dec anymore. A 2-3 week old calf that is up and nursing good and active is alot better able to deal with this wet than a 2 day old.
 
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lithuanian farmer

lithuanian farmer

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Most people taking birthweights hope to weigh before first drink of milk as a full belly can easily add 10 lbs. Have weighed enough over the years that I just visually guess any more. Some get weighed just to keep me honest. The only time we really refer to bw is to cull the extremely heavy heifers out of the herd. We prefer moderate cattle for less intervention. Glad you are off to a good start.
We weigh at the first or the second day. The scale we use has to be brought everytime to the newborn and needs a specific place to weigh a calf. It would be perfect to weigh them just right after birth, but often it's not the best time of the day or just want to give some alone time for the mom and the calf. Weighing most of the calves born in winter, some in spring. Most of the time can tell the weight more or less, but some can be quite tricky.
Our average weight is around 110lbs for some quite time already. It probably went up for abit if compared with our farming start, but we had high % of dairy in the herd at the beginning. Nothing too extreme this season so far.
 
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lithuanian farmer

lithuanian farmer

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Happy New Year to you. Congrats on all the up and going healthy calves.

We are having mud and more mud.... rain, just crummy wet weather. Have a couple of late "fall calvers" to go.... they will get held back and put into the spring calving group next year. They have been late every year so not really behind.... going right at 12 months.... but want to get the fall calvers done earlier so will hold them and put them out with the cows that calve in the spring. Since we are holding our spring calves and weaning and feeding, would like to get the cows calving window tightened up and then we will be able to not deal with calves in this weather. Get done calving by Dec 1st so the calves have a few weeks on them before we get into much cold; since it seems like we are getting more of this wet and stuff late into the month of Dec anymore. A 2-3 week old calf that is up and nursing good and active is alot better able to deal with this wet than a 2 day old.
We keep our newborns for a week or so in the pen in the shed, so they are strong and running when we let them out. They also have a separate pen, where they can be away from their moms. There is a bale of hay and fresh bedding available just for calves, so they spend their time there almost all the time. They come out just to nurse or to play. Especially, when it is wet and muddy.
Finally, got abit more snow these days and should get abit more cold. Less mud and much happier cattle and owners.
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Put a fresh bedding for all for this night. It should be the coldest night this winter so far.
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Redgully

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Most people taking birthweights hope to weigh before first drink of milk as a full belly can easily add 10 lbs. Have weighed enough over the years that I just visually guess any more. Some get weighed just to keep me honest. The only time we really refer to bw is to cull the extremely heavy heifers out of the herd. We prefer moderate cattle for less intervention. Glad you are off to a good start.
This is something i have often wondered. Funny, ive never tried weighing before and then after first drink. I did read somewhere there was very little change in weight in first 24 hours. I feel i have a trial in front of me.....
 
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lithuanian farmer

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Some update. Had three calves born since the last post. Two charolaisx and one limousinex. One was charx heifer, born at 280th day, hardly 88lbs. Very small girl, but lively and strong. Pic taken in the morning when we found her.
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Another calf was charx bull calf, born at 289th day, 110lbs. Born two days ago.
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And the third was born this morning, limx heifer, born at 283rd day, 99lbs. Very excited about her, really nice shape and lots of potential. Her mom has calved on the 8th of March last year and stuck on the first try with AI.
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Going slow with the calving, but with such weather as it is now, it's better this way. Calves get a good week to get strong in the shed before turning them out with the herd.
 
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lithuanian farmer

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Finally some action this morning. Two newborns. One blondex heifer, around 100lbs born at 290th day and bull calf from a stock bull, around 130lbs born at 298th day.
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There are some other cows past their due date or very close to it, so hopefully they won't wait for long.
 

Nesikep

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If I'm seeing the cows are really ready to calf and just aren't doing it, I've started inducing them if I have any concern about the calf size on them..

Nice babies!
Finally some action this morning. Two newborns. One blondex heifer, around 100lbs born at 290th day and bull calf from a stock bull, around 130lbs born at 298th day.
View attachment 3134
View attachment 3135
There are some other cows past their due date or very close to it, so hopefully they won't wait for long
 

farmerjan

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I was rereading your posts and had to smile about the bull calves being so friendly compared to the heifers. Seems to be that way here too.... Had a steer calf, weaned in the barn on feed that would come up and wanted my son to pet/rub him every time he was in the barn... just weaned off an average cow, no special treatment prior to the weaning.... there were some pretty decent heifers in there and one that was real nice was just as crazy as a june bug.... he said to me, why couldn't that heifer have his disposition....
I have a charolaisx heifer that we kept out of a char cow I had bought.... NICE heifer... kept her 1 yr older sister and she has had a nice calf, but this heifer was even better..... and the older she gets the nuttier she gets. She will come right in the barn but her head is up looking for a way out and will jump over a gate if she feels crowded. She is not going to be bred but going this week to the sale.... END of problem.
Just getting started with spring calving, have 4 on the ground.... doing good so far. 2 and 2 so.....
 
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lithuanian farmer

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More babies born in the past week. IMG_20210319_064833.jpg
IMG_20210325_092900.jpg
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All calves sired by the stock bull and only the last one is a heifer.
Unfortunately had to slaughter freshly calved cow, which is pictured in the barn. Saw her down in the pasture one day. Brought her home, because she was able to stand up for a very short moment. She has calved on the same day with 121lbs bull calf very quickly. Have tried to lift her everyday with hope that she'll stand up. She wasn't putting any weight on one back leg and wasn't feeling anything down her knee. On the forth day's morning saw that that leg was all swollen and was in an odd possition. It seemed dislocated or broken, so that meant that there was no more hope. It was time to end her misery. We had a feeling that some cow probably had hurt her badly, as she is one of the elder cows, 10years old this year, and the younger ones were pretty active this winter and fighting older cows.
Well, what we saw one her body proved we were right. One front leg on the same side as the back leg, had a small puncture wound and some bruises, there were some bruises in several places on her body and her back leg had completely dislocated knee with all tendons and ligaments broken, plus massive bruises on that leg, lots of blood clots in the muscles, almost no good meat left.
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Unfortunately have no photos of the inside of the leg, but it looked really bad. Really feeling sad for her and her calf. Now have to bottle feed her baby, but he's doing well. Also he has a little friend- pure angus heifer, which we bought just recently. And all sheep and goats for the company. Here's a pic of the heifer. She has a twin sister and mom would take only that one, so the owner sold this one.
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Also the red calf from the red cow isn't nursing his dam even if she has a perfect udder and teats for the calf. It's the third day for him, but he just doesn't any interest in nursing, so have to tube feed him. Hopefully he will make some progress soon, or his dam will be culled.
There should be two more calves from the stock bull soon and more AI calves. Then more stock bull's calves coming starting May, when we moved him to the main herd after breeding the second herd. The first heifer is due to calve on the 20th of April, but she has already started bagging up, so hopefully she will calve soon.
Here's one heifer I like alot. Great shape on her and from a good mom, so a strong replacement candidate.
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This season I will start AI job myself, so it's really exciting. Some new bulls will be used too, which I should show here soon. And the most exciting thing is that finally I've finished my veterinary medicine master degree and can start working as a vet myself.
 
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lithuanian farmer

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If I'm seeing the cows are really ready to calf and just aren't doing it, I've started inducing them if I have any concern about the calf size on them..

Nice babies!
Thanks!
I'm not too concerned about mature cows calving with bigger calves, so wait for them to naturally calve if there is no concern about them. Also it seems that most of the stock bull's calves are born way past their due day, starting around 290th day. Going to keep him away from breeding heifers and some cows, which can have trouble with bigger calves. Not a fan of long gestations, so if his calves won't be good enough, he won't work next year.
 
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lithuanian farmer

lithuanian farmer

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I was rereading your posts and had to smile about the bull calves being so friendly compared to the heifers. Seems to be that way here too.... Had a steer calf, weaned in the barn on feed that would come up and wanted my son to pet/rub him every time he was in the barn... just weaned off an average cow, no special treatment prior to the weaning.... there were some pretty decent heifers in there and one that was real nice was just as crazy as a june bug.... he said to me, why couldn't that heifer have his disposition....
I have a charolaisx heifer that we kept out of a char cow I had bought.... NICE heifer... kept her 1 yr older sister and she has had a nice calf, but this heifer was even better..... and the older she gets the nuttier she gets. She will come right in the barn but her head is up looking for a way out and will jump over a gate if she feels crowded. She is not going to be bred but going this week to the sale.... END of problem.
Just getting started with spring calving, have 4 on the ground.... doing good so far. 2 and 2 so.....
There are some very friendly heifer/-s every year, but there always are more good behaved bulls. And of a good quality too.
We're slowly getting closer to the half of the herd calved. There are way more bulls born than heifers, around 1:3 ratio.
 

Nesikep

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Thanks!
I'm not too concerned about mature cows calving with bigger calves, so wait for them to naturally calve if there is no concern about them. Also it seems that most of the stock bull's calves are born way past their due day, starting around 290th day. Going to keep him away from breeding heifers and some cows, which can have trouble with bigger calves. Not a fan of long gestations, so if his calves won't be good enough, he won't work next year.
I usually don't have a problem on mature cows either, maybe some smaller 2nd calves I'll pay close attention to

Especially this year it seems like my bull calves are friendlier, probably because they were all early and I had more time to pay attention to them this spring than the heifers.. I've got about 5 of them that just can't get enough of me.. there's only one heifer that's really calm, and a couple more that tolerate attention at this point.. I'm sure as they get older they'll settle down
 

wbvs58

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Yes, congratulations on graduating. I can remember the excitement when I graduated in 1975 to finally be let loose to work. We did not have the support as a new graduate in those days. I went to work for an alcoholic vet who was the only other vet in the practice. At the end of my first week there I saw Bruce and his family packing up his car (they lived upstairs at the practice), they all jumped in and waved goodbye to me and said see you in 2 weeks, they were off on a holiday. I guess it was a vote of confidence in what Bruce thought of my ability. I survived but really could have done with a bit more support.
Do you have a job lined up to go to?

Ken
 

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