Favorite Time of the Year, #calfwatch16

Favorite Time of the Year, #calfwatch16

Call me crazy, but for some reason I enjoy the craziness of calving on our farm.  Craziness of waking up to do night checks, craziness of having to clean the barn every night, craziness of not eating until late, craziness of grouchy kids (mainly our 6 year old daughter) and the list goes on.

Yea, so it’s a bit crazy right now.  We are just about ready to enter our “window”.  Yes, the window of calving.  If you aren’t familiar with beef cattle and the reproduction and breeding practices; the “window” is the time frame they are expected to have a calf.  This year, on our farm, we artificially inseminated (AI) our heifers to calve on or near January 28th.  This is a timed AI protocol that brings the heifers (or cows) into their heat cycle using a CIDR and medicine.  If we had unlimited time and didn’t work full-time jobs off the farm, we would AI our cows based off of standing heat. Unfortunately, not all of our heifers were AI bred.  And so we wait…
We AI or put embryos in our top 8%(ish) of cows.  The five cows we put embryos in were due to calve today – February 2nd.  As of right now, we have one ET calf that is 5 days old.  The only other one that settled is very close….hopefully tonight.  I checked her 2 times in the middle of the night last night and both times she was as cool as a cucumber chewing her cud.  Whatever sis!  
The rest of our cows are turned out with one of our herd bulls!  They are due to calve anytime between March 1 and April 15.  A guessing game for sure.  If you follow me on Instagram (@amcgrew8342), you may recall a photo of two (very) premature calves that a cow aborted in late November.  Back to the guessing game.  We took 6 cows/heifers to the vet to be checked to determine if they were pregnant and if so, how far along they were.  We did this because we were certain one of them was the one that aborted the twins.  It would be easy they said.  Surely it is not that hard to figure out which cow aborted they said.  Ha.  
Back to the crazy thing.  I enjoy every second of it.  I especially enjoy it right now because it is very mild for an Illinois winter.  Like 35-43 degree mild!!!! Awesome minus the fact that this mild temperature swing equals mud.  Lots of mud.  I have no mudroom people.  And my kitchen is right inside the back door.  It would be best to just pray for me.  ðŸ™‚ Our time is coming and old man winter will smack me in the face….with negative temps! 
Be watching for the Flat Aggie blog post soon!  She has been visiting our farm for about a month…and learning A LOT! 😉 

Heavy bred pen view from our barn camera!

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