Drowsy Water

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall Cow-tivities

We look forward to this day every year.  Maybe its because we love to work cows, or maybe we love to get outside on warm fall days, or maybe it is just because we have a tremendously silly sense of humor, but we all enjoy the day we wean the calves using what we call the "easy-weaners".  
 First, we round up our herd, then separate the cows from their young.
Next, we load the calves in the trailer and take them to our neighbor's house down the road. 

There, we run each calf through the squeeze chute and insert a really silly looking yellow tag in their nostrils called an "easy-weaner". Once they all have their new weaner, the calves are returned to thier mamas to graze on pasture grass. 
The tag will block the calf from nursing on his mother but allow the calf to still be with the mother. This seems easier on both cow and calf than the traditional weaning method of just ripping the young from the teat and putting the calves in a pasture or corral separate from the cows.

In about two weeks, we will load the calves back up and remove the easy weaners. The weaning is a little bit of a graduation ceremony. (Hooray! Throw your easy-weaner in the air!) After they are weaned, the calves are ready to move on to the next stage of cow-hood: the yearling stage. 

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