Lately, I’ve changed the words to Gene Autry’s “Back in the Saddle Again” to “Back into Cattle Again.” Mr. Corn Farmer and I both grew up on farms that included raising beef cattle, and we had raised cattle ourselves until a few years ago. Unable to locate pasture in reasonable proximity to our home, we found that renting summer pasture hours away was not working well for us. We do, however, have ample cornstalks for winter grazing.
And “Like a Cornstalk Cowboy,” [think “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Campbell] we’re “Back into Cattle Again!”
We’ll begin the New Year busier than ever with first and second year heifers set to calve in February. Until then, they’ll graze the stalks supplemented with salt, mineral, a protein tub, and a couple bales of alfalfa a week depending on snow cover. Every other day, Mr. Corn Farmer hauls water to fill their tank kept warm by a propane fueled heater. (A tank of water has been lasting two days.)
This first year heifer did not get the memo and calved on January 3rd. Hopefully the rest will wait until February, or at least until the forecasted cold spell has passed.
Isn’t she cute? I bet this heifer calf doesn’t weigh more than 60 pounds. 80-90 is what we typically expect. Nevertheless, this early calf was keeping up with her mama and even kicked up her heels a little. Happy and healthy – exactly what we want to see.We’re back into cattle again.