Over the weekend Hubby was on evening walk through duties. The cattle at the farm have a “walk through” morning and late afternoon/early evening. Monday through Friday that is done before he comes home…on the weekends, he has to go back out and do it.
Sunday Hubby was up early and fed cattle, came home for awhile and then late afternoon he went out again. Chores don’t take very long at all but something they always do.
Hubby asked me if I wanted to ride along and I did…there were new calves in and I always love seeing them all freshly bedded.
There are four facilities for housing cattle at the farm. This is what they call the “big shed”. It is divided into four pens. The new calves are in the first pen with older cattle in the other pens. The goal at the farm is to keep groups of cattle in separate pens so that germs and such stay within a specific group. These guys are making their transition..they’ve only been here a week. There are a couple sick ones in the pen that they have been keeping an eye on. This time of year is so hard on the cattle. They are all still wearing their heavy winter coat of fur and the days get pretty warm yet the nights stay cold.
The cattle are for the most part all fed with fence line bunk feeders. Hubby has a tractor and a mixer that he mixes the feed in. It’s more or less a food processor for cattle that is on wheels. Once the feed is mixed he drives the tractor along these feeders and dumps the feed in.
They only get fed once a day but get fed a large amount so by late afternoon they still have this much food. Hubby says they do a lot of eating overnight and in the end, there is very little waste.
There is another pen of small new steers. That pen is in the barn. They used to milk cows in the barn but after they quit milking in 2001 they converted it to use to raise steers. This pen is mainly used for small calves. These will be moved from here as soon as a pen with larger cattle empties.
Hubby walks through all of the pens making sure the cattle get up and are moving. He walks through and looks the calves over noting which ones are breathing heavy or don’t want to get up. Anyone who is sick gets medicine if needed.
Right now there are both Holsteins and Black Angus at the farm now. Typically the guys only have Holsteins (black and white). They are calves from milk cows. They have a bigger frame and aren’t as stocky.
This next pen was formally the lean to of the barn and when they milked cows was a maternity pen. This has since become a sick pen. If for any reason a steer is hurt or vulnerable, they are moved into this pen. This pen is close to where the guys always are so they cattle can be watched and observed more easily. Most graduate out of the pen and are able to get back with their original group.
Here are some of the big boys. These will be ready for market before we know it. Check them out.They love attention. They always come up and to the fence whenever I visit.
Everyone asked if I miss the farm…for the most part, I don’t. I will admit to missing seeing the cattle at times though.
I gave you a glimpse at three of the four cattle buildings. In total the farm is set up to hold right around 1000 head of cattle. Hubby’s boss works hard to keep numbers right there at 1000 head. If a batch of steers is sold, new ones arrive in a day or, just long enough for the guys to clean the shed.
Hubby loves being a cattle guy…and with that, chores were done. We didn’t see any sick ones except for the couple that were treated that morning. He’s got their numbers written down and will continue to watch them…and then it was time to go home…Happily it’s only about a 2 minute drive.