Monday, May 24, 2010

Calving in the Heat

Calving this time of year can be just as dangerous, or maybe more than calving in the winter time. Dehydration is your number one killer. 

Here are a few issues that need to be monitored closely when calving in the summer time:

1. Cows can get exhausted much faster during the calving process. A cow will give up pushing on a difficult birth faster than in cool weather, increasing the need for assistance on calves that would normally be born on their own. 

2. Shade is crucial to survival of summer born calves. Newborns will not naturally seek the shade, and cows will not always hide their calves in the shade when they go to graze. A young calf will die in the matter of hours on a hot, sunny day. Calves may require being tubed with water and/or electrolyte as much as two weeks after calving

3. Calves tend to be less vigorous when born on hot days. They may not nurse right away, and even if they do nurse, they may require a supplimental tubing of milk and water. Many times at birth, the newborn does not have enough body mass to fulfill its fluid requirements by just nursing on its own. The high temperatures can also cause a reduction in appetite, causing the calf to nurse less. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Chute

Many of you have seen me use our working chute in prior blogs and videos. I thought I would explain some of the special features that make it so functional.

The chute is 30 inches wide by 8 feet long. The first key component are the swinging side doors that hinge in the rear of the chute. Several cross-bars are located in the side door, allowing a bar to be placed behind the animal, regardless of size.

The floor is made of a grated material, allowing the side poles to be place in any position on the floor. The top of the chute contains two ladder type cross beams 2 and 4 feet from the front of the chute. The ladder type structure allows the side bar to be place in different positions depending on the size of animal and what is being done.

The next special feature is the zero gap attachment of the Pearson automatic head catch to the body of the chute. This shallow profile allows easy access to the neck and brisket area of the animal when clipping with the side doors open.

Lastly is a palpation cage attached to the rear of the chute. Having the rear access to the chute make it a perfect tool for preg checking,, or flushing cows.

Is the chute perfect? NO. But it works great for our herd and custom cattle operations. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Continental Divide Vacation

After 11 days, 10 states, 4200 miles, and 8 National Parks/Monuments, all I have to say is AMAZING!  Sorry for the lack of updates on our website, but I got a little preoccupied the the last couple of weeks helping my wife plan, and enjoy the most amazing vacation our family has been on.

Our trip was a combination of seeing parents and grandparents and seeing the marvels of the Western United States.  We started off meeting up with my grandma in Loveland, CO and enjoying the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  The we proceeded to the Panhandle of Nebraska to see my grandpa and parents, and also took in a couple of the icons of the Oregon Trail (Scottsbluff National Monument and Chimmey Rock).  Then we blazed off to see some of the picturesque areas areas of the Black Hills (Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave), the Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole, Craters of the Moon in Arco, ID, and the vastness of country in between.  I recommend every stop!
We took a few days in Boise, ID to visit my wife's father and grandmother, while taking in several of the attractions in the Boise area.  What a wonderful area and city!  After our little rest, we headed South to Arches National Park in Moab, UT.  All I can say is it is a MUST SEE!  That same day we took in the Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez, CO.  Also a must see.  Even pictures can't explain the beauty of these places.
Last stop on the trip took us to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  Self proclaimed the 8th Wonder of the World, I have to agree.  Again, pictures can not explain.
I know we passed so many of our friends and fellow cattlemen in our travels, and I truly apologize for not getting a chance to stop and say hi, but we did take in, and appreciated the beauty you live in every day.  I do have to add that on our trip, we saw several projects at several national parks financed by the Economic Recovery Act, and it made me so happy to see these dollars going towards these parks, allowing people world-wide a better chance to enjoy the rare creations God gave to America and the World.