Friday, September 07, 2012
Raining, as ordered
And now, we are getting rain. It is coming down a little harder than I would like, but the rain will really get those seeds sprouted and out of the ground. I'm crossing my fingers, hoping the washing will be minimal.
I've mentioned more than once that Babe, our whiteface cow, will soon calve; but I thought her due date was a week away. Today I found the paper my brother-in-law gave us with all her statistics: The official date is September 10! This means she could calve any time. Of course, she could also wait until a week after her due date. I am so used to watching dairy cows that show much more definite signs of impending birth than beef cattle. Babe is very round, but you really can't tell how much of that is fat and how much is calf. Also, a dairy cow has a huge udder that fills up in the days before she calves. Beef cows don't give nearly as much milk, and often the udder doesn't fill out until the calf is born.
Hopefully I will have pictures of a little Hereford baby in the next few days. Hey, maybe this rain will bring it on!
I'm not very choosy about the sex of the calf. A heifer could be kept as a future mother cow or sold at auction. A steer would bring more money at the sale barn, and definitely would not be kept past weaning.
Now that we have three pregnant cows, it's no fun looking at cows on Craigslist. I know our place can't handle any more cows, once the babies are born. If all three cows end up with heifer calves, the most I could keep would be two out of three. But then, we'll be needing meat a year from now, so Bonnie's calf will probably go into the freezer no matter what sex it is.
I do, however, still watch Craigslist and make fun of the ridiculous prices. I laugh when someone has an eight-year-old cow that's had a calf and they call her a heifer (sometimes they spell it "heffer", which is even funnier). A heifer is a cow that has never had a calf. What are these folks doing with cows if they don't know the meaning of the word heifer?
OK, that's the end of my rant.