Monday, May 28, 2012

Mo's Mad BBB Skills

It's been a busy week here at Nacke Farms.  We had 2 of our heifers calve!  For those who don't know, a heifer is a cow that has never calved before. Calving is an odd cow rite of passage.

When heifers calve you have to be a little more watchful because:
1. It's their first time calving
2. You don't know how big their calves will be

Large or small calves are linked through genetics. Simply put, my Momma had HUGE calves and my Daddy had small calves so I'll have a medium sized calf.  In reality there is a numbering system set up which is referred to as a Birth EPD.  This gives a numerical value to the cow's chance of having a huge painful birth or an easy happy one that everyone enjoys. 

The first heifer that calved had a BEPD of 2.3 which isn't high, but isn't low either.  It is stuck in the middle with you, but a little high for my dad's likings.  The second heifer had a 3.9... that's a big YIKES from the Nacke family... stay tuned to find out if she successfully had a calf! (dun dun dunnnn)

Last year we had a heifer with a 3.0 BEPD that had a 110 pound calf.  A calf that big is ridiculous for a cow to have let alone a poor little heifer.  We had to call the vet out and when I thought the worst was about to happen via C-section, the vet finally was able to yank the baby out.  Sadly it was too late, the labor had been too long and the calf didn't survive. *sad face*

So you can image why we were a little anxious about the 3.9 BEPD.  Luckily our bull (Mo) has a very low score (.5) so in a way he acts as a Big Baby Buffer (we'll call it the BBB!) and can help counteract the higher BEPD of the cows.  Mo's mad BBB skills worked this time and I'm happy to report both heifers had calves with out the slightest problem!

Now for some pictures!

Here is the older of the 2.  It's a heifer all red and very very resilient!

 Little Red and her Momma.

And here is the baby that could have been huge and instead, while being a bigger calf, was not too big.  It's a roan bull.  Isn't he the prettiest!

Big Roan and his Momma.

 Little Red's Momma, Big Roan, and Big Roan's Momma

In the excitement of it all, Big Roan's Momma had gone a little nutso and wouldn't let anything near her calf. The other night I let Little Red and her Momma in with Big Roan and his Momma.  Big Roan's Momma became crazy hostile towards Little Red and kept shoving her around.  So, we separated them again.  I have never seen another cow go after a calf like that.  Like I said above, Little Red seems to be very resilient and took being shoved into the fence very well for being such a little calf.  Hopefully, with time this new nervous ninny Momma will calm down and take a chill pill.

Update: Both families are now co-inhabiting our front pasture very happily.

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