Thursday, April 17, 2008

Head'em Up, Move'm Out

This week I moved the cows out to pasture. The pasture isn't quite where it needs to be for them to really start grazing, but we had an incident that kind of forced my hand. We were up to 9 calves on the ground, and they were all doing well. One evening last week while I was doing chores I noticed one of the most robust of the calves laying there dead. The only likely explanation was that she must have gotten trampled by the bigger cows. Cows are generally pretty mindful of the calves but there were just too many calves in too close quarters. Moving them out to the pasture will give them enough room that it shouldn't be an issue again. Because there isn't much grass yet we are still feeding hay.

I also decided to keep it from being a problem again next year by keeping Bubbles the bull in until July. That way we shouldn't start calving until May when the cows will certainly already be out on pasture. I don't like keeping one cow in by itself so I kept a lady friend in with him. Brockle Face calved in September last year so she was a good candidate because she is likely to be bred back already, but shouldn't calve until arter their release. Also, once the other cows get out on their rotation I plan to fence them in around the buildings to clean up the grass there that would otherwise have to get mowed.


Blogger sugarcreekfarm said...

Bummer about the calf.

That's one of the things that's a pain about having a bull. And we'll have to be pulling ours out a little earlier than normal because we had one cow abort a month early.

Last year we put him with our horse, but daughter didn't like having to go in with him to get her horse when she wanted to ride.

We usually turn him back in around the 4th of July, so we start calving about the second week of April.

It sure is taking our grass a long time to start greening up this year.

4/17/2008 12:33:00 PM  

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