These last few weeks have found me getting more and more exited for our 6th calving season, and for ALL of this snow to disappear.
With calving on the mind, I have been tossing around an idea for a future blog series. Seeing the attention our post, That Cow is Gonna Calve Soon: Signs of the Onset of Labor, has garnered since it’s inception in 2014, I had a light-bulb kind of moment. After almost five years from writing that post, I feel that it is long over-due for us to start providing more detailed documentation on Cattle Starter of our observations of the entire beef calving experience, from start to finish.
Therefore, I want to develop a series titled “Observations from THE PASTURE” , where I would share my observations, pictures, and other tidbits of information on a weekly basis, in addition to other Cattle Starter posts. My plan would be to provide a weekly update, starting the end of April/beginning of May and continuing until the calving season ends. We anticipate calves to start hitting the ground around the 1st or 2nd week of May.
As we have mentioned in previous posts, our routine during the calving season involves a good amount of observing and note-taking. Of course, we are obviously already noticing changes in our cows’ bodies, especially their udders. But, as we approach that first week of May, we will be on heightened alert, so to speak, for signs of the onset of labor! At that time, I hope to be able to share my observations and pictures that I have accumulated each week from my field notes. I also hope to be able to provide pictures, showing that progression towards labor. Progression with the udder, the teats and the vulva region. I think it would be valuable to be able to show more pictures of what a cow looks like in those areas only a day or two before she delivers. I feel that these sort of observations, provided on a weekly basis, would take That Cow is Gonna Calve Soon: Signs of the Onset of Labor. to the next level and help to break-down those signs even more for our readers.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. As I mentioned in my last post, I am a visual learner, and pictures are such an important tool in our toolbox.
I may very likely continue with the theme of “Observations from THE PASTURE” in discussing other “seasons” and important information related to the farm throughout the year. One such season that would work well for this sort of series would be during the BREEDING SEASON, which will likely start around the 3rd or 4th week of July when we introduce Nebula, our Red Angus bull, into the cow herd. He is currently overwintering with all of our pregnant cows but he will make his exit prior to the start of the calving season. He will go join-up with the boys’ club (i.e., yearling steers and bulls) in another pasture. During the breeding season, we do dedicated, daily observation sessions in the AM and PM. These sessions give us an opportunity to take note of any cycling and/or breeding behavior. I believe that these sessions would have the potential to provide some useful information for a blog series centered around the beef cattle breeding season.
Be sure to check back in late-April/early-May and follow along with us on another calving season adventure as we debut our new blog series”Observations from THE PASTURE“!