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The first sign of spring

jkwilson

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The calendar says 3 weeks until the first calf is due. This one was an observed breeding confirmed by palpitation so the date is pretty tight assuming Mother Nature has a calendar. I'll probably start checking them at 11pm and 4:30am next week.

Started getting calving stuff ready last night. Nothing quite like hunting for OB straps in the middle of the night.

Calf puller and chains/straps are hung on the wall where they belong. Calving box is packed with gloves, needles and syringes, BoSe, weigh tape and head lamp.

Spotlight has new batteries and it's on the shelf inside the back door.

One new addition this year that was a gift from my kids: A wifi camera with infrared for the barn that I can view on my phone from anywhere I have an internet connection. I have a 12X12 stall or a 24x36 pen (depending on the weather) where I can put a cow I think is close. I have mounts so I can put the camera either place.

Hoping it will be a big help for some of the 2am cow checks and it may save me from making trips home from work or tell me when I need to make one.

But some of those 2am checks are fairly nice on a clear night when it's not too cold or rainy. I hang a black bucket on the fence to carry with me to sit on while I watch them. Especially nice when it's so quiet I can hear the sound of the cow licking the newborn from 50 yards away. Most people won't ever know what it's like to sit out in a field in the middle of the night.
 

TCRanch

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I calve out my heifers in the barn & do the 2 a.m. checks (and 4 a.m. and . . . ) even though they're pelvic measured, bred to calving ease LBW bulls. Saved a mal-placed calf, a hard pull (neighbors bull) and uterine prolapse all in the middle of the night. Couple years ago the only calves we lost were from 7 year old cows - have no clue what happened other than found them standing next to their dead calf when we checked in the morning. I'd be totally on board with the camera :)
 

jkwilson

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M-5":xnpn98xu said:
Why wouldn't you just put that much effort in cows that can calve on their own.

No such thing as a cow that calves on its own 100% of the time. I had an 8 year old cow have twins two years in a row unassisted and then lost her the next year when she couldn't deliver a single calf out of the same bull that had thrown the twins.
 

M-5

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jkwilson":8asczzk6 said:
M-5":8asczzk6 said:
Why wouldn't you just put that much effort in cows that can calve on their own.

No such thing as a cow that calves on its own 100% of the time. I had an 8 year old cow have twins two years in a row unassisted and then lost her the next year when she couldn't deliver a single calf out of the same bull that had thrown the twins.

don't tell mine that. some are getting close to 15yrs old and they think they are supposed to do it all by themselves. I know when most of mine are due and I will check before work and when I get home. I only had one pull in last 15yrs . A heifer with 100#calf.
 

dun

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jkwilson":12zhlsem said:
M-5":12zhlsem said:
Why wouldn't you just put that much effort in cows that can calve on their own.

No such thing as a cow that calves on its own 100% of the time.
Worth repeating!
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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jkwilson":2chmmot8 said:
The calendar says 3 weeks until the first calf is due. This one was an observed breeding confirmed by palpitation so the date is pretty tight assuming Mother Nature has a calendar. I'll probably start checking them at 11pm and 4:30am next week.

Started getting calving stuff ready last night. Nothing quite like hunting for OB straps in the middle of the night.

Calf puller and chains/straps are hung on the wall where they belong. Calving box is packed with gloves, needles and syringes, BoSe, weigh tape and head lamp.

Spotlight has new batteries and it's on the shelf inside the back door.

One new addition this year that was a gift from my kids: A wifi camera with infrared for the barn that I can view on my phone from anywhere I have an internet connection. I have a 12X12 stall or a 24x36 pen (depending on the weather) where I can put a cow I think is close. I have mounts so I can put the camera either place.

Hoping it will be a big help for some of the 2am cow checks and it may save me from making trips home from work or tell me when I need to make one.

But some of those 2am checks are fairly nice on a clear night when it's not too cold or rainy. I hang a black bucket on the fence to carry with me to sit on while I watch them. Especially nice when it's so quiet I can hear the sound of the cow licking the newborn from 50 yards away. Most people won't ever know what it's like to sit out in a field in the middle of the night.

Thanks for posting JKWilson, looks like you've been around here a long time but haven't posted all that much. I'd love to hear more about your operation. Thanks!
 

cow pollinater

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jkwilson":1cylwmba said:
M-5":1cylwmba said:
Why wouldn't you just put that much effort in cows that can calve on their own.

No such thing as a cow that calves on its own 100% of the time. I had an 8 year old cow have twins two years in a row unassisted and then lost her the next year when she couldn't deliver a single calf out of the same bull that had thrown the twins.
I don't disagree but if you put a value on your time and equipment you might be money ahead to let them fail. It sucks to lose one but if it's that bad you might lose them even with you standing there helping. I am checking heifers twice a day right now but that evening check is fairly limited and might not happen if I can't come up with some other reason to drive to the ranch.
 

Nesikep

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It's nice to see all the southerners say the cows don't need checking....

Bring your cows up north and see what happens.. not only do birthweights go up, but the weather is less likely to be cooperative.

Checking the cows often is the least costly way of adding pounds to the pen of calves.
 

talltimber

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M-5":1qeebbsk said:
jkwilson":1qeebbsk said:
M-5":1qeebbsk said:
Why wouldn't you just put that much effort in cows that can calve on their own.

No such thing as a cow that calves on its own 100% of the time. I had an 8 year old cow have twins two years in a row unassisted and then lost her the next year when she couldn't deliver a single calf out of the same bull that had thrown the twins.

don't tell mine that. some are getting close to 15yrs old and they think they are supposed to do it all by themselves. I know when most of mine are due and I will check before work and when I get home. I only had one pull in last 15yrs . A heifer with 100#calf.

Why do you check at all? Your time would probably be better spent doing something else.
 

Clodhopper

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I saved a nice heifer calf three nights ago by making an extra 1/2 mile trip. The cow has successfully raised seven calves, but doesn't seem interested in #8. It's been 50 and 60 degrees here, except for a few days, and you can guess when she decided to calve, the night it's 20 and wind blowing 30 MPH. No way a new, sopping wet calf will make it through a night like that.
 

M-5

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Nesikep":2db0phuu said:
It's nice to see all the southerners say the cows don't need checking....

Bring your cows up north and see what happens.. not only do birthweights go up, but the weather is less likely to be cooperative.

Checking the cows often is the least costly way of adding pounds to the pen of calves.
where did I advocate not checking on them. I check mine . AM and PM mostly to document, band and tag. I keep everything ready yr round . I don't have to hunt anything. I use flashlights yr round so they always have fresh batteries. No where did I compare North vs the South. But if I were in that land this southern boy would be smart enough not to calve with snow on the ground.
Most of us here try to be good stewards I don't make 2 hr checks in the middle of the night.
 

callmefence

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5. . I suspect these are union cattle. They have came together and demanded. Better calving conditions more feed , and better safety.

My spring calvers are 30 miles away. I check them once a week.
Heifers are at the house.
 

TexasBred

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May just be pure luck but I haven't pulled a calf in 15 years. These brangus girls know how to do it !!!
 

JSCATTLE

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callmefence":jghufz2b said:
5. . I suspect these are union cattle. They have came together and demanded. Better calving conditions more feed , and better safety.

My spring calvers are 30 miles away. I check them once a week.
Heifers are at the house.
I don't know about the union part but I lm in the same boat. I check my cows every 4 days when I put out hay heifers are at the house and are checked morning and evening . Been doing that for 10 years and have only lost 1 cow. But brahma influenced cattle seem to have smaller calves .. most of my brangus calves are 60 lbs or less when born. They look like little house dogs .
 

SIMMGAL

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According to my calendar and AI breeding dates, my calving season starts in about 3-4 weeks. According to one of my usually late-calving cows, my calving season started this past Monday!


Currently taking donations to purchase a drone with night vision who can check my cattle every 3 hours for me! :lol2: :lol2:

Ok, that was a bad joke.. :hide:
 

M-5

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But the northern folk will be the first to say if a cow can't make it thru winter on just hay they wouldn't have it. I'll take having to supplement some over baby sitting cows trying to calve.
 

True Grit Farms

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Nesikep":y5sojo1a said:
It's nice to see all the southerners say the cows don't need checking....

Bring your cows up north and see what happens.. not only do birthweights go up, but the weather is less likely to be cooperative.

Checking the cows often is the least costly way of adding pounds to the pen of calves.

Birthweight and calving season is one of the only things we can manipulate. Through selective breeding we can pretty much eliminate having to pull a calf because of it's size. And believe it or not a cow will have a calf in approximately 284 days. So picking when you want a cow to calf is simple math.
Nesikep, your cattle are the way they are because of your management style.
 

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