Friday, December 14, 2012

Around here: calves and tractors

Cliff's work on the 550 Oliver continues:

Of course Iris has to be in the picture

The baby calves I used to bottle feed are growing up.  I keep them in a pen by themselves all night, so they have all the alfalfa hay they want without having to fight the big guys for it.  
After all, they are still my babies.  I give them two large coffee cans full of sweet feed once a day, but on the 17th, when they are three months old, that will be cut back to one can.  As long as they have all the alfalfa hay they can eat, they should do just fine.

When I turn them out to run with the herd in the morning, they hurry to the in-ground waterer and get a huge drink.  Thankfully, they discovered this source of hydration three days ago, so I no longer have to carry water to them in freezing temperatures.  

The only reason I don't leave the babies out with the herd twenty-four hours a day is that when the hay in the hay-ring gets low, it's hard for small calves to reach it.  Since Annie still gets milk from her mother, I hope she gets enough nourishment.  I doubt she gets over a quart of milk a day, if that.  I'm pretty sure Babe doesn't give much, even for a beef cow, because when Annie was born she spent way more time at the teat than is normal; I think she was trying to get more milk than was there.  She's growing pretty well; she just doesn't have much extra meat on her bones.   
That hay-ring is badly beat up, so we are going to buy a new one today.  This old one is made for horses; we'll buy a cattle ring this time; it will stand up to the abuse better.  It will likely be a better-built, too, since we're getting it from M.F.A. instead of Orscheln's.  

The cats, having their breakfast this morning.  I should fill that empty water bowl, but they seem to prefer water from other sources anyhow.

1 comment:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I hope Cliff is keeping warm out there working on that tractor. It looks like your babies are really growing up there. The cats really look well fed too. I did notice on one of your pictures the other day one was drinking from the bird bath. Hope you have a fantastic Friday!