Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This is what we like.......

I was looking around online at miniature Hereford pictures...
I got a call from a man today asking me questions about the miniatures; how, what, why, etc.
I am constantly impressed by the interest in these animals, and, the reasons folks are interested in eventually obtaining them.
I hear so many reasons; used to have cattle, have an empty barn and miss having something in it, looking to stock a small farm or piece of land, retired, investment, grass-fed beef market, grandchildren, pet,looking for an easy to handle livestock....the reasons go on and on.
When I talk with folks who are actively seeking miniatures to buy, I always offer to help with finding reputable breeders who may have animals for sale. I am big on type; I don't believe someone should be breeding miniatures just for the sake of obtaining a tiny animal...ultimately, the miniature Hereford has to be a fine example of the beef animal is it intended to be. Many people come to our farm and after seeing the animals ask where the mini's are....our miniatures are so much like regular sized Herefords that folks do not realize they are minis until they stand next to them and see for themselves how small they really are. Which is just fine by me.
Check out the pictures of how the Herefords used to look, before they were bred to be huge....this is the animal I strive to breed here at our farm; thick, correct, BEEF in a smaller sized package.
Portion - controlled breeding I suppose!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Girl and Her Cow

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Wanting to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving "season", as I think Thanksgiving is basically everyday, at least for those of us living in America.
I know I am thankful for everything God has provided for my family and myself: I will not even begin to list all that I am thankful for, but will say that a grateful spirit is a content spirit.

Farm news: had the vet here last Thursday...did the fall pregnancy checks that I have not been diligent in the past with; that and the fact that it is still difficult to confine my animals enough to have them pregnancy checked....which I will be working on this winter, as I have decided that I (and my ever-patient vet)and my beasties deserve a safe, stress-free way of being held in comfort and safety when the need arises.

I found a great manufacturer of comfort headlocks right in Pennsylvania called Zimmerman. If you Google "Zimmerman head-gates" you will find their site; they have all kinds of neat cattle handling stuff, including some of the newer style hay feeders that virtually eliminate waste with the hay suspended above a feeder floor that is accessed through headstalls....really cuts down on the waste. I would imagine this would pay for itself in hay savings alone!

Anyway, the vet confirmed 2 more animals pregnant (yeah!) due spring / early summer, but my lovely cow who gave me Sprite this last April was found to be open (still!!!) after 7 months, which is unacceptable to me (obviously not to her!) but on a good note she was checked, is perfectly fine and was in heat about 10 days earlier, so, if all goes well she is bred , or will repeat to be bred in December, which, may be the case after the time she had being haltered, tied and checked! Just a little stress there,(for both of us...) which I will expound upon next blog!

My thoughts on this late cycling / breeding back is this: (unscientific conclusion>>>) I let the calf stay with her all those 7 months; normally I will wean 5-6 months tops, no earlier than 4 months. The vet mentioned that sometimes the cow is too busy being a good mother and interested in her calf to breed back and cycle at the typical 60-90 days....I had one other cow do that, and it was the same thing...I was lazy, and let the calf stay with momma apparently way too long. So, next year , I will wean at 5 months, and that's it. And, with the new head-gates :), it should be no problem at all having everyone checked in a more "timely" manner!

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
May God bless you!