Monday, January 6, 2014

The Little Calf Book...

How important can one little notebook be?

It's just a little spiral bound book...about 3" x 5" or so.  You of those notebooks that you'd write a grocery list in...or doodle in during Church...or something.  Jim's Dad started this book at the end of 1990 to keep track of when cows freshen, and we've kept it up ever since...

We filled it up just last week.  It was getting a little sloppy here at the end...trying to fit all the records in for the last few weeks in December.  We ended up adding another paper in the back so that we could start a new book in the new year...

We have other breeding records, of course, but this book is especially handy if we want to go back and see exactly when a cow freshened last year...or to see how many bulls vs heifers she's had, etc...

The back cover holds a record of how many calves were born each year since 1991.  It looks like the numbers have been pretty consistent, with the exception of 2000, when we had an abundance of calves...

And here we are...this morning's calf started the first book...

It's not nice to wish for bull calves, but our hutches are full, and so are the box pens!  Bulls would be welcomed about now.

We're headed for the deep freeze tomorrow again.  Temps are to drop to around 0 F. tonight, with wind chills close to -20 F by morning. I'm sure we'll be busy keeping water bowls open tomorrow.  Weather forecasts like this make my anxiety levels rise.  I'm definitely a fair weather fan.

See you after it's over!


  1. awww. a new book started - maybe to be continued by your kids some day. :)

  2. Records like that won't be erased in a hard drive crash or the loss of a memory chip, although they can be misplaced or be taken out in some disaster. Still there's something about hand written notes and 3x5 recipe cards that have a lot more value than a computer spread sheet. Best wishes for healthy calves and plenty of warm places to keep them.

  3. Oh my gosh, I remember those little books. I wonder where my Dad's ended up. It was very important to look back and see who had what and when.
    I forgot. Stay warm that is some very cold coming your way.

  4. I agree with Texwisgirl's comment. A book to be continued.....

  5. Mom has those little books. As a teacher I had a steno notebook that I kept every student's final grade. When they come back years later we look at it and laugh. Sometimes you can't replace paper.

  6. I wonder if my dad kept a book like that. I remember him checking on cows who were ready to freshen. What a treasure you have!

  7. Oh I love this we have always kept track of calves in calenders called the calf calenders. I have everyone of them since we moved to this farm from 1979. Oh yes it is truly interesting to pull them out and see how far we have come. History in the making for our children. HUGS B

  8. Oh, we've got that same little book! In case of fire, we'd save it over our computers. Fair weather fan, big time, here, too!

  9. Yeah for the little book.
    I'm so with you with wishing for bull calves lately.
    I sold 2 today. They were both huge bull calves. We had a winter thaw with rain yesterday and today it's windy and freezing. The barn yard is slippery and I had to put sand where i walk between barn and I wore a pair of ice grippers on my boots.

    I'm hoping that your water bowls will not freeze.

  10. Love it! I always wish I had the old breeding chart from the late 50s. We had an ABS inseminator do our breeding and they provided the breeding chart. We tacked it to the barn wall where it collected breeding dates, bull numbers and fly specks! I remember we had a chart once where every cow on the chart settled on first service! The inseminator borrowed it to show to other dairymen!

  11. Dairies were the first people we thought of when this polar vortex hit! It does complicate their lives.

    I love the little notebook. We had some of those too.

    Ray, just a comment: We never had an inseminator that even got close to that!


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