Monday, August 15, 2016

#28 delivers #80- a Bull

Remember the barren heifer that we questioned as either being "fat or finished"?  Well, she was pregnant!  Fooled me because she was not bagging up at all but she delivered a healthy bull- #80 on 8/15/16.

When is the last time you saw a bovine family picture- mom, dad, and baby?  They are even posing!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Oldest Cow #26 has Heifer #79

Have been watching #26 for weeks.  She was obviously pregnant.  She didn't calve last year but the year before successfully delivered and raised twins.  She has to have produced a dozen calves.  A good mother.  Calf is a jet black heifer with tag #79.

Summer Good for both Cows and Calves

#22 with three month old heifer #68 are a demonstration of what happens when you combine good pasture, management, and genetics.  This calf is twice the weight I would have seen in my calf crop 30 years ago.  A year from now this calf will breed at close to 1000 pounds.

If I went by the books I have more cows per acre than should be sustainable but in most places the grass is still outgrowing the cows.  In places it is going to seed.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

#37 Has First calf- Heifer #78- Bull #57 is found

Heifer #37 had a reddish dunn pointed heifer while I was at the Republican National Convention.  They both are doing well.  The newling will be #78 and I'm going to name her Ivanka after Trump's daughter who spoke the night she was born.

Today I also found the bull #57 that had been missing before I left.  He had fallen into a deep trench I made for draining a low spot and the poor thing had been there well over a week.  I promptly got out a shovel and dug a way for him to get out.  He is very weak but I think he will recover.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Calendar Update

If you look back in the blog you will find the post about the soil profile that documents layers of loess and volcanic ash that go back at least 3500 years.

Since that time one of our customers loaned us a microscope so we could study the different layers to see if there are any chronological clues in the deposits.  I have learned that it is one thing to have a microscope and quite another to figure out how to use it and how to figure out what you are seeing  even after getting something in focus.  It is fascinating to see how the particles in this loess sample are so jagged and often transparent, probably quartz crystals?  I have not had time to compare the different layers.

I did take a dozen samples of the different layers to the soil lab testing facility at the University to have a soil analysis done and just found out that the office was shut down due to budget cuts.  So I guess they just threw out the samples.  We know for sure that they did not do any analysis.

I have lost contact with Dr. Wallace so we aren't any smarter about her prediction that the large volcanic ash deposit was from Mt Hayes.

I guess the need at this point is for an educated, experienced microscope operator so we can document slides of the layers of wind deposited soil.  I do not even know where to get lens cleaners, and slides and microscope supplies around here.  There are several lenses with the microscope but I can only get the lowest power to focus.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fat or "Finished"?

"Finished" is a trade word in the cattle industry for animals that have hit their peak weight without excessive body fat.  This three year old barren heifer has a lot of the beef frame we are breeding for but couldn't give us any calves.  She has been on the same feed as the rest of the herd- hay, grass pasture, and cull carrots.  I'm guessing the marbling will be great on this carcass but would need an ultrasound to know for sure how much body fat there will be.  She probably weighs 1400 pounds.

Grass "finished" beef happens naturally with the Galloway breed.  It only happens in most of the exotic breeds with antibiotics, hormones and high octane feeds that are forced.  That's the source of most of the commercial meats in the stores.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Youngest Heifer #45 Finally Drops a Boy #77- 6/23/16

I lost 45 for a couple of days and she showed up with a very friendly, curious red tipped boy 6/23/16.  I didn't have the heart to spoil his trust by grabbing him and tagging him.  We'll put #77 in his ear first time through the chute.