Release Into The Spring Pasture

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Except for the heifers (1st time mamas) near our house, all the rest of our cattle (older cows, the bulls) are up at the farm about a half mile away. Before those cows have their calf they live in a little pasture, like a maternity ward, all waiting for their babies to come. One by one as they have their calves, Harland brings them up out of the maternity ward to a shed so they are out of the weather.

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They stay in the shed for about 24 hours and during this time Harland watches to see that the cow accepts her calf and the calf figures out how to nurse.

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Once he’s satisfied they are going to be ok, and if the weather is nice, he lets the pair out of the shed and into a separate pasture just for the cow/calf pairs. But before the release into the pasture, he gives the calf an eartag with a number that matches its mama.

Even though this cow hasn’t been in this pasture since last spring, she remembers it well, and knows that the rest of the cow/calf pairs are out there just over the crest of the hill where they normally hang out.

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The pairs will stay in the spring pasture until the roundup and move to the summer pasture in May.

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The pics and video here were taken about a week ago. Today the ground is white again from another snowstorm. It began Saturday afternoon and continued through the night and into the morning yesterday. We only got a few inches but the temperatures went down into the 20s which can be deadly for newborn calves. So Harland was out late Saturday evening and up a couple times in the night. He got a nap in yesterday afternoon. Then he was up last night too. We had 7 calves in a 36 hour period. Our normal is about 2 or 3. Bad weather makes the cows pop out their calves at the very worst time. Harland thinks it’s the stress of the crappy weather that makes them go. But we didn’t lose any calves due to Harland’s diligence and care. Am I proud of my hubby? You bet!