Thursday, February 21, 2013

First calves have arrived.

We have missed our second major snow storm in the last 10 days.  So we continue to be dry.  We had .11" in the rain gauge for the month of January.  Our neighbors just got back from Tampa, FL and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association annual convention.  The continued drought was on the minds of most of the cattlemen at this gathering.  Our national cow numbers are at a low point.  The lowest since 1952.  The cattle are bigger, so there is more pounds of beef on each animal.  But still the price of beef could go up in the grocery store.  If the drought continues there will be more of a sell-off of the national cow herd.

We went to the state Farmers Union Convention in Aberdeen this past weekend.  Back home we had three cows calve with early calves.

Ryan said he remembers a bull getting out last spring, but didn't think he was out for long. The weather was windy but warm for calves being born in February.  These cows are not supposed to calve until April 20.  So these calves are two months early.

Tammy and I had a little incident the other day in the wind.  We took the old grey pickup to Ryan's.  The pickup started sputtering and tried to die, then finally did.  I was just below a hill on the county road, so I rolled backwards down the hill and backed onto an approach.  Then I resumed trying to start the pickup.  It backfired and I kept trying to start it.  Then I looked in the rear view mirror and saw flames four feet high at the back of the pickup in the ditch.  I yelled fire and we started to put the fire out.  We pulled off our heavy coats and beat the flames down.  I was losing my battle, but the fire was creeping to the road and running out of grass to burn.  Tammy on her side was getting the fire out but it burnt down in the ditch where there was a little snow.  Our fire burnt a patch about 15 feet long and 8 feet wide.  The pickup would have burn, but it was on the wind side of the fire.

Today we went over to Ryan's to help him sort off his heifers to calf.  They are about a week to ten days from calving.

Then we came home and Tammy wanted to get a picture of our new calves.  So we drove out looking for calves.  Then got the sheep chute that we use for eyeing the ewes fixed up.  It hasn't been used by us for a few years, so needed some repair.  We have been trying to get professional help shearing the eyes but our days never match up.  So we will end up doing it sometime soon.

We did get a nice picture of the cows down in the creek by the house lounging around out of the wind.