Monday, April 2, 2012

Raising Calves...part 3...

It's been a while since I talked about raising calves, and what's involved.

Back in the beginning of January, we had a maternity ward here...or so it seemed.  Over the next few weeks, I wrote a little bit about raising calves and what is involved with their feeding as they get older.

There's more than feeding to think about though...Typically, we tag our calves when they are just a few days old.  This identifies them...their birthday and their genetic information.  (some of our animals go back seven generations)  The calf population here is usually low enough that we can easily keep track of who's who with little trouble.  However, six heifer calves in one week back in January made it a bit challenging to keep everybody straight.  On top of that, the ear tag numbers that we needed were a special order, so I resorted to keeping notes on the unique markings of each animal.

The ear tags came in last week, so this morning we gave nine calves their "bling".  We use this ear's just like getting your ears pierced, just on a much larger scale...

The calves that were featured on that post are now weaned off of milk, and are eating hay, calf grower and of course drinking lots of water...

This is the one in this ultra short video...

 This little one is still getting her milk from a bucket, and is learning to eat hay and calf starter.  She (and the one above) are in box pens in the barn, as our outside hutches are full...

We vaccinated the nine calves that we gave ear tags today as well.  They should have a booster shot in about six weeks, and then will need to be re-vaccinated every six months throughout their lives.  You know how the saying goes..."an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"!

They're getting used to their "bling"...and now I can relax; knowing who's who will be much simpler now!


  1. Thanks for sharing such wonderful moo-faces! And no cry-babies to speak of. Cripes, I remember when a couple of ice cubes, a "friend," a sewing needle, and a raw potato got together with an eighth grade me on my "tagging" day. The whole town thought it was Tornado Siren Testing time!

  2. Awww...they grow up SO fast, already getting their ears pierced! ;-) Sweet pics!

  3. They are just beautiful calves. I just love calves, and that is one thing I do miss, is baby calves and cows. I loved having cows.
    I like their bling. :)

  4. Yes, their good breeding and high class shows. They'll be wanting a necklace and a walk down the red carpet before you know it.

  5. That was always mine and dads job, to tag the calves! Brings back memories!

  6. With range cows tagging was always an adventure. It sure brings back memories for me also. Thanks.

  7. I can't tag them. If they were to cry, I'd cry (and goats always cry). Those calves are getting really big.

  8. They are so cute!! I don't know though about that "bling", I think it is a little to flashy. Will see Alice tomorrow , am going back to work...a :-(...:-) moment.

  9. Oh Alica you do such a great job explaining farming practices. Great job. They sure are cute with the earrings.
    Off today see you when I get back. B

  10. theres too much cuteness on this post! those tags can be a bother to the babes at first. thanks for sharing.

  11. Lots of work for you all-thank you for explaining it to me-since I'm totally clueless about it!

  12. There's a lot to taking care of calves and keeping the record straight, I agree.

    That's my job here on our farm. In November, I had 12 calves that were born one after the other and we had to set up some temporary pens for them and it was a very busy time for me at feeding time as I have to care for the larger ones too. They are a joy to work with when they drink well after a few days old, but not so much fun when they don't want to drink their milk.
    I don't do the tagging, my husband and son does that. JB


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