Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My Night By The Numbers

Thanks Emily Webel for the idea of "By the Numbers".....:-)

1 - the number of calves we pulled last night
2 - the number of cows that calved last night
3 - the number of live calves that were born last night
        (Have we had the "aha" moment with math here?)
4 - the hour at which I got up this morning
5 - the number of vaccinations the single heifer calf was given
6 - the number of cows due to calve in the next 10 days
7 - the hours of sleep I wish I got last night
8 - the number of CALVES due to be born in the next 10 days
       (Another math moment with #6)
9 - the hour on the clock at which I found 2 new calves last night
10 - the number of calves in the calf barn right now
11 - the hour on the clock at which I went to bed
12 - the number of days early the cow with twins calved last night
13 - the minutes along with 1 (1:13) at which Ainsley woke up, needing to be soothed back to sleep
14 - the number of degrees below zero it was last night

The #1 best thing this morning:
Brent: "Ainsley, Mommy is a saint"

Made my day! :-)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 30: The Future - Luxury

Ok, so Luxury has been my little pet.  With Gail out of commission for feeding calves for a little bit, Luxury has been my little pet.  The first week I started feeding her, she got sick, hard.  And fast.  And I went ballistic - cleaning, revamping, calling in the vet, driving samples to the vet clinic on Saturday, picking up new meds....you name it, I was trying it, b/c while I was able to nursery Lux back to health, though it took a full week, I was NOT going to go thru that again.  And, if a calf is getting sick, it hurts their very sensitive growing gut for the future and could stunt her future growth and milk production.  And, Luxury is Lucke's calf.  The FIRST Holstein heifer calf that we have gotten from her, and as God as my witness, SHE WILL LIVE.

Luxury will hopefully be a show heifer, though she will be a little young this next year to compete with heifers born almost 2 months before her (the class has heifers born from Sept. 1 thru Nov. 30, and she's Oct. 26.....), but hopefully by the time she is a yearling or a cow, she'll be able to compete, and Ainsley will be big enuf to at least walk at the end of the halter.

I had this gorgeous picture planned of Ainsley with Luxury as the future of our farm, and well, it got cold VERY early this year.  It was froze the week of Thanksgiving.  We had a ear infection while we traveled south to see my family, and I don't think Ainsley has been outside besides runs to & from the car since.  Seriously, I could use a warm up b/c I have about 15 calf panels to clean for the new calves that will be born in March, and I have not had a SINGLE day (on a weekend when I'm home) that is above freezing to even attempt to try washing all these panels.  I have 2 set up for the one lone heifer calf that is due at the beginning of February.  They are at least clean, though they need repainted and have frozen snow & ice stuck to them.  I'm hoping it thaws enuf that I can at least get THAT done......

Oh spring - where art thou?

Full Name:  Po-Cop Armani Luxury
We call Her:  Lux
Age: 1 month
# calves/lactations: Hopefully Many! :-)

Linking up with Holly here

Back to my beginning of 30 days here

Day 29: Nothing Special - #9015

 She's nothing special, but she is the type of cow that pays the bills.  She has been the high milk cow on individual tests several times.  She is rarely sick, doesn't have foot problems, is easy to work with, walks into the parlor easy and freely every time.  She's a no-nonsense kind of cow, and I LOVE that.

Full Name:  Po-Cop Matches Mirage
We call Her:  #9015
Age: 4 years, 6 months
# calves/lactations: 3

Linking up with Holly here

Back to my beginning of 30 days here

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 28: Thanksgiving - Blessing

I also wrote about Blessing a long time ago.  I literally brought her into this world & breathed life back into this calf when she was born.  Now, to see her in the milking barn, I am reminded of that late night, the thrill I had in saving her, and how thankful I am that we get to farm!  Even the late nights, cold days, and all the ick in between that we end up dealing with - it is awesome

Blessing is usually in the 1st group or two of cows in the morning, and she's just a little skittish, but nowhere NEAR what her mama was.

Full Name:  Blukel PC Exactor Blessing
We call Her:  #141 or Blessing
Age: 2 years, 1 month
# calves/lactations: 1

Linking up with Holly here

Day 27: Revisiting - Million Dollar Reward

Here she was a long time ago:

And, here she is now:

My how times change.....

Full Name:  Po-Cop Million Dollar Reward
We call Her:  #101
Age: 2 years, 8 months
# calves/lactations: 1 - due again late winter

Linking up with Holly here

Day 26: Interesting - Curious George

Ok, so I've been really excited to talk about "Curious George".  That actually isn't her name at all, but that is what we call her, because she is slow, methodical, and not scared of anything!  She always has to come check out what we are doing, and give us a sniff, nudge, or just sometimes stand there and stare.  Although George is curious, she sometimes gets completely freaked out by the grates in the barn, and while she doesn't spook or jump, she will simply NOT cross over them sometimes (no matter how much you may push & pull, and if a 1800# cow doesn't want to go somewhere, believe me, you are NOT going to make her).  But, she crosses them at least 4x a day to get in & out of the parlor, so maybe she just learns to not look down at that time.  However, she is so calm, sometimes we just leave her standing there while we sort or go get other cows to bring in or out of the barn.  Usually when we come back from wherever we are going, there is George, still standing in the same spot we left her.
In fact, she is the only cow that doesn't back out of the headlocks in fear when Ainsley comes running down along the alley (to allow great pictures like this to be taken).

 Curious George & Ainsley

Full Name:  Po-Cop Jeeves Tomatillo
What we call her:  Curious, George, Curious George, or #9030
Age: 4 years, 2 months
# calves/lactations: 2, due for #3 this winter

Linking up with Holly here

Day 25: Interesting - Ribbon

Ok, Ribbon has a pretty interesting story.  Ribbon is the only ET (embryo transfer) calf to be born on this farm (at least in the last 8 years since I've been around), and she was born a few weeks premature (or at least her mom hadn't even gotten moved to the "close-up" maternity pen yet).  I remember her being pulled out in muddy/snowy conditions, a very small little girl.
She has survived quite awhile and is now almost the oldest cow on the farm (unfortunately, we had to bid #864 good-bye this week, but Lucke has moved up as the "oldest").  Ribbon was bought at a sale as an embryo at a sale, and she was implanted into one of our cows that carried her (nearly) to term.
Ribbon is an Oman that is one of the great names in Holstein bulls.  His mom was bred & born by our friend Becky and her family @ Meier Meadows, and the cow, Jezebel, sold to another family in northern IL, and O-Bee Manfred Justice (shortened to OMan) is now a name known round the dairy world!  Pretty neat. (ok, so if you know Holsteins that might actually make sense to you.  If not, it was complete jibberish!)

Full Name: Miss O-Man Ribbon-ET
Age:  6 years, 8 months
# calves/lactations:  5
Lifetime Milk Production:  100,050# or 11,633 gallons