May 29, 2012

Time to go to Work...Maybe....

Our bulls really have a pretty easy life.  They spend most of the year in a bachelor group hanging out, probably telling stories from last breeding season, and generally lounge around either the "bull pasture" or one of our smaller corn fields.  They get fed when they "need" it, usually that is when the snow covers the ground or when they run out of grass or cornstalk residue to graze.  They even will get some bedding when it gets really cold to help prevent from damaging their very important testicles.  There is a short window of time when we expect them to earn their keep and prove that they were worth every penny we spent on them. 

The new bull is being checked out by a couple of the other younger bulls...

Last weekend we had 1 of our bulls get injured, proof that bulls are not nice to each other and are not afraid to "take out" one of their buddies.  Not a good time of year to be down 1 bull, as we were about 2 weeks away from turning them out with the cows and the bull sales in our neck of the woods are long over.  After a trip to the vet we determined the bull probably has torn a bunch of muscles and damaged some nerves in the upper portion of his front leg and shoulder.  So he is out of commission for the year maybe forever.... only time will tell... We gave him some antibiotics to prevent infection, some pain/anti-inflammatory meds, and a room with a view and the "Lorenz Bovine Bed and Breakfast".  We even gave him a couple of fly tags to help keep him more comfortable as the flys have already gotten pretty bad.

The injured bull all settled into his new home for a while... We gave him some ground cornstalks for bedding and apparently they are good enough to eat!! 

He has a room with a view (the few cows we have left at the yard come up every evening to eat in the pen next to him), room service (feed is hand delivered daily) and an automatic water tank is always full of fresh cool water!!!!  So he is living pretty much stress free all except for his healing leg.  We want to keep his stress to a minimum so that he has every chance possible to make a full recovery.  We have invested a lot of money into him up to this point and if we only get 1 calf crop out of him we have lost not only money but the potential for his genetics to enter and better our herd.  This is not the way to start off the breeding season!!!  So in a mad dash to find a suitable replacement to take his spot in the line up I made a call to 1 of the breeders we have bought bulls from to see if he had any left!!  Luckily he did have a bull that comes as close to meeting all of our criteria as possible especially for this time of year at a "reasonable" price.  They always have a few bulls that are younger than the majority and they sell as either replacements (like what we needed) or as coming 2 yr old bulls the next year instead of in their yearly production sale.  I got the new bull picked up on Friday, vaccinated, branded, and ready to turn out. Fingers crossed nothing else happens over the next 7-10 days.....   

The new bull all settled in at the bachelor pad!!  In a about a week he will be headed to work for the next 75 days.

We did turn our bull in with our replacement heifers on last Monday.  We like to have them start calving a couple weeks ahead of the older cows.  The bull seems to be pretty happy with his current situation.... 16 heifers and 5 cows all to himself!!  As we are just finishing up calving season we are already working on next years calf crop!!!

My view from the top of my horses ("Bubba") back.  Much better than looking up at an 1800 pound bull from the seat of the 4-wheeler!!  We walked the bull for the heifers from the bachelor pad to the pasture where the heifers were!!   

May 25, 2012

Farm Fixing Foto Friday

I have a new name for the seasons of spring through fall.  I am going to start calling this 3/4 of the year "fixing" season.  Seems like we are always fixing something....fence, haying equipment, harvesting equipment, my lawn mower......  So in celebrations of "Fixing Season" I changed Farm Foto Friday this week to Farm Foto Fixing Friday!!  Below are a few pictures of 2 things we fixed this week....  Does anybody have any guesses as to what they are??  Some time next week I will reveal the answers!!  Happy Memorial Weekend!!!

Item #1 view from the front side

Item #1 view from the backside

Item #2 view while still broken

Item #2 again fixed... not the way it should be... just a temporary fix till I could get the correct bolt...

May 18, 2012

Farm Foto Friday

This week started off with some practicing of our fire fighting skills.  The neighbor had a hay pile catch on fire and we helped to keep in contained and put it out.  We didn't have any fancy fire fighting equipment but were able to get the job done with a couple of 4-wheelers with 25 gal sprayers, a front end loader, a tractor with loader, and a tractor hooked to a box scraper.  We hauled some more cows to grass and worked on fixing a leaky water tank.  Hopefully we will be cutting hay this weekend!!!

After a little less than a week in the ground our corn has come out of the ground

Our Mother's Day present!  Another red calf born Sunday morning!! 

And another cow calved this week too!!  At this point in the calving season we are really excited to see another 1 born, we are counting down to the end!!  Which always seems to take FOREVER!!

Ground Hay pile going up in Smoke...

The silage pile started to catch on fire.... Mark is on top wetting down and breaking up the hot spots.  I am spraying water on the front of the pile closest to the burning hay pile to help prevent it from catching on fire again....

Tractor coming through the smoke with the box blade.  We tore down the pile of hay and with the box scraper and loaders moved the burning hay to a disked corn field where it could finish burning up and not catch anything else on fire.

May 17, 2012

TWINS...Born 12 days apart!!!!

Nature is a very beautiful and yet mysterious creature.  Sometimes things happen and it really makes you sit back and scratch your head.  We had one of those moments a little over a month ago.  I had it in my to talk about bank but failed to sit down and write about earlier.  We were just about 2 weeks into calving the cows and and were getting quite a few new calves every day.  We hadn't moved the cows into the calving pasture yet so they were bring forth new life in the corn fields, which I think they enjoy a new nursery now and again....  Mark went out to check the cows in the morning before heading to his day job.  He found a new born calf all by itself in a secluded part of the the field.  Cows will often give birth, get the calf cleaned up, let it nurse and when it lays down to take a nap the cow will leave it to get water or feed.  They will often times hide their calves to help protect them from predators like coyotes and will wander off with in hearing distance of their calf's cry but far enough away to hopefully make it harder for the predator to find the calf.  So Mark didn't think much of it at the time and decided if the calf looked like the mother had not been back by noon he would take it to the barn for some extra milk and warm bedding.  At noon he found the calf nursing cow #615, mystery solved, he tagged the calf and went on about checking the rest of the cows.  A few hours later we he returned to check again 615 had given birth to a calf of her own and clearly did not want the mystery calf to nurse.  So off Mark went to find the real mother.  When I got home I found a mystery calf in the pen by the barn and seen Mark and the neighbor bringing a cow (#937) to the house. 
#937 pair.  The calf was giving me the "come a little closer and
I'll show you how fast I can run" look as I was tring to get a nice

They found a cow that clearly looked like she had calved earlier that day.  After putting them in the pen together for a little while the cow seemed to remember that she had indeed given birth and let calf nurse and started showing signs that she loved the little heifer.  WooHoo problems solved, no harm done and we got to practice our cow psychology.  After a few days we moved the family into the south creek pasture with a few other pairs and everybody seem to be doing just fine.  About 12 days later we were checking that pasture and noticed that the cow was consuming some fresh cleanings.  "Cleanings" are the after birth or placenta, often cows will eat the placenta because it is full of nutrients and although I have not and will not taste it must not be to bad.  We watched her for a few minutes scratching our heads as we were sure that she had cleaned (expelled the placenta after birth) and we wouldn't have turned her back out without helping her clean if needed.  Not to mention these were fresh as from a cow that had calved within the last 12 hours not 12 days earlier.  Her calf was sleeping beside her and everything else seemed to be ok.  So we chalked it up to the strange and bizarre things mother nature throws at us from time to time.  I think she likes to see if we are paying attention.  Side note - this pasture that 937 is in only has cows in it that have already calved no expecting mothers allowed.  This is where things really get strange.... 3 days after the cleaning incident I went out to check on the 1st calf heifers and at the gate going out of that pen into the pasture is an un-marked (not tagged) mystery calf.  Looking at the calf she looked to be a couple days old and extremely hungry, I opened the gate and we put her on the 4-wheeler and headed for the barn.  We gave her a bottle of milk and as I was ruminating over the chain of events that had transpired with 937 over the past almost 2 weeks things started to make a little since... strange since but since...  If she was carring 2 calves each in their own placenta her hormones would tell her that she was still pregnant after having the first calf.  Reason why she needed a little reminder about mother hood.  If she gave birth 3 days earlier to the 2nd calf that would explain why we seen her with fresh cleanings and would explain the new calf that was about 2-3 days old.  It all sounded a whole lot of bizarre, but biologically I could make some since out of the situation.
After doing a little research.  I did confirm that my theory was probably correct.  Cows can give birth to twins (may not be called twins, technical aspect) on different days.  Normally the cow will only ovulate from 1 ovary at a time, but if she had ovulated from both at the same time or released 2 eggs from the same ovulation (same ovary) then 2 fetuses could be resulted which could attach with 1 in each uterine horn. 
A-Cat, B-Cow, C-Horse, D-Human
The round "balls" are the ovaries, and they are at the end of the
uterine horns.  Animals that are more prone to having multiple births or
litters have longer horns to accommodate to extra fetus'.

Cows have 2 uterine horns and generally (normally) the fetus will attach in 1 horn and the other is empty till the next year when it gets a chance to be the baby calf home.  If there were 1 fetus in each horn they would each have their own placenta and the first calf can be born without harming the placenta of the 2nd calf.  Cows will produce milk in late gestation which explains why the 1st calf remained healthy and was growing normally.  I think my chances of getting bit by a shark are greater than witnessing a cow giving birth to 2 calves 12 days apart and I don't live any where near the ocean.  This will be one of those once in a lifetime occurrences that we will get to talk about for a while.  We are happy and thankful that all 3 of them are healthy and thriving because I know the survival rate of twins is drastically less than single calf births and I can speculate that the survival rate of multiple births on different days is even less than "normal" twins. 

The 1st twin taking a afternoon nap in the shade.
 I am not sure if this set of twins (we are calling them twins because it feels right) was the first set born.  The fist calf was born 4 days before the set of little girls and the 2nd calf was born 1 day after the set of little boys.  Maybe they can be first and last!!! 
Still pretty sure on our theory of what happened as we are down to the last couple of cows to calve and they are very much pregnant.  Which means that another cow didn't calve and the calf some how wander through the 2 fences that separated our pregnant cows from the cows that already calved.
Good news is twin number 2 did get a mommy who loves her very much after she lost her calf in a tree falling on calf accident.  Bad news that we lost a calf that is always taken hard and personal.

The 2nd twin (now know as #735) is hanging out by her biological mother.  Her adopted
mother was close by resting in the afternoon shade as well.

May 15, 2012


When you have bulls eventually you will get to be "that" neighbor who's bulls got into the neighbors cows and probably sired a couple of calves....  Our bulls were in our pasture last Saturday afternoon (this time of year I count them every time I drive by the pasture) and I seen all 6 of them.  Sunday morning the neighbor calls and said he just drove by our pasture to go check is cows and only counted 4 bulls...  Well crap.....  We finished what we were doing and went out to investigate and check the fences.  Found 1 broken post and some wires that were no longer attached to the post and black hair stuck in the barb wire.  We did some crime scene investigating farm style...  Even though I didn't do a DNA test on the hair sample or break out the light and odd shade glasses to look for blood to test the thought that I need a cool kit to carry with me when I have to do some farm CSI did cross my mind!!!  I drove through the bulls and only counted 4 (I counted 3 times just to make sure I wasn't dreaming).  I figured out which 2 bulls were missing (the "big simmental bull" and a 2 yr old SimAngus bull).  We were busy trying to get about 3 loads of cows to grass and finish up planting corn at that moment so we made the decision to postpone the "man" hunt for later in the evening.  After we finished planting corn, hauled the cows to grass, fed the remaining cows and checked all the calves we headed north in search of the bulls.  I had never been in that pasture before more than a few 100 feet so I had no idea that it was as big as it was!!!  It is about 3 sections (it seemed like 6).  A section of ground is 640 acres or 1 mile long by 1 mile wide. 

The big bull looking at the new fence, wishing he could get closer
to the fence with the girls on the other side.... He can just keep
 I found the big bull within about a hour of searching.  Called Mark and told him which gate to open and my approximate location.  By that time I really had not much of a clue where I was at after weaving and circling around in my quest.  All I knew is if I kept the setting sun to my right then I was going south and our place was south!!!!  Usually when I move the bulls I ride my horse.  I don't like the feeling of being lower than the bull.  I think I feel bigger in comparison which make me feel like I am in charge!!!  I get to look down on him instead of looking up to him... It's all about perspective...  Following the bull from behind on the 4-wheeler I was looking up at least 2-3 feet at his butt!!  This bull tips the scale at a little over 2200 lbs, I weigh 98 lbs with all of my winter coats and coverall on.  Only good thing is he is a gentle giant and walked the 2 or 3 miles back to our fence with no problems.  I tried very hard not to be mad that he would only walk 3-4 mph because I could have gotten off the 4-wheeler and walked faster than that!!!  By the time we got him back in the pasture it was almost dark and decided to resume the hunt for the other bull the next evening when we got home from work.  Monday night got home from work and got the cows fed and checked then we topped the gas tanks off and headed north to find the other bull.  After about an hour or so I found the him with a group of cows.  He is not a calm as the other bull, and really wanted to stay with his lady friends so I waited for Mark to come help me.  He moved at a much faster pace of about 8-10 mph but his homing skills were a little to be desired and we made alot more detours and zig zags across the pasture.  he finally realized that he was not going to win the battle and decided it was much easier to just go where we wanted him to!  Again I didn't take my horse so I was looking up at a poopy bull butt!!!  Why didn't I take the horse???  Well I can maintain a faster pace and cover more ground with my 4-wheeler during the search than with my horse.  This pasture is really open and can see a long ways so between the speed of the 4-wheeler (and the fact that it doesn't get tired and need to slow down at times) and my binoculars I can see a lot of country in not a whole lot of time.  If it would have been a smaller pasture, or I knew where the bull was already at, or if it would have been brushing or covered with cedar trees the horse would have been the mode of transportation of choice.  It is all about using the best tool for the job. 

The buffer fence.  We will let them back later this summer
after they return from the 75 days of working for their meals.  The fence they
broke through is really a great 5 stran barb wire, but there are only 2 things
that will get males to make bad decisions... food and girls.....
 After getting them home we decided that the best way to solve this issue was to put up a little hot wire to keep the bulls a little further away from the main fence that way the temptation of cows in heat was not so high.  After putting up the new fence the bulls did appear to be a little sad that they could get so close to the ladies, but that is life, we don't always get we want all of the time!!! 

May 11, 2012

Farm Foto Friday

We started off this week on a "man" hunt.  Seems that 2 of our bulls thought the grass on the other side of the fence was greener.  Well the grass might not have been greener but the neighbor apparently had some cows cycling and they helped to convince our bulls that it was a GREAT idea to cross the fence.... They were very WRONG!!  After several tanks of gas through the 4-wheelers we found the 2nd bull on Monday evening and he got a good cardio work out back to our side of the fence!!!!  Then it was plan "B" to re-design the fence between our bulls and the neighbors cows (see a pattern cattle = fence repairs).  Then back to hauling more cows to grass which will continue into the weekend. 

Now that the mouse hunters are getting big enough they are
exploring the outside with some supervision...  4-Wheeler tires are a
great place to play!!

The grass is finally tall enought o hide the calves...  Could
still use a little more rain...

Hanging out with mom, thinking very hard about letting me pet
her!!  She got to about 6 inches while I scratched mom's back!!

Can never start too early buck breaking the calves.  After sorting out this group of 30 pairs
we have been feeding them in the pen.  That way they will be easier to gather when we haul them to the pasture.

Finally had some time to plant a few flowers last night!!!  My garden hasn't been planted
yet, but at least I got the flowers out of my house!!!  I am a big fan of yellows and oranges!!  There is a patch of pink something -or-other flowers growing in my lawn that will get
attached by my lawn mower this weekend!!!

May 8, 2012

Planting Corn - Family Farm Style

I know I talk way more about the cattle side of our farm than the farming side.  I have also talked more about putting up hay than growing corn.  I have finally figured out the reason.  No...  I don't feel that the corn farming is not an important part of our operation or to telling our story as American Farmers.  The main reason why I don't get many pictures or things to talk in relation to the corn farming is because a lot of the things that go into growing corn happen either during the day time while I am at work or at night which is not condusive to taking good pictures.  We are very blessed to have a father-in-law who is willing to give us some of his time and resources to make sure that we can get the seed in the ground and the corn harvested to the best of our abilities.  He wants to see us make the farm work and succeed and is willing to help us.  However, I have noticed that he is able to make time in his busy schedule to come help during the weekdays and between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.  The time of the week when I am at work.  So by the time I get home they are wrapping up what ever project they are working on.  Or Mark will be working on the farming after he gets home from the day job and gets the cows fed which is usually well past dark 30!!

Fueling up the tractor and checking the fluids before heading back to
the field!! 
Due to getting some rain on the eastern side of the state late last week and the fact they are almost done with planting their corn and soybeans my father-in-law and his hired man came out Friday with our corn seed (did I mention he is also our corn seed dealer??  If not we have a great corn seed dealer that always makes sure we have the right seed!!!!).  They got the planter hooked up and adjusted and were able to start planting some corn while Mark and I were both at our day jobs.  After they left that evening Mark finished up planting the field they were on.  Early Sat morning guess who drove the 2.5 hours back to our house?? 

Opening a bag of corn seed!

After fueling and checking fluids, the planter gets filled with seed
before heading to the field to start planting. 

Yep my father-in-law came back to help plant while Mark and I worked on sorting cows and began the process of hauling cows to grass.  But this time I was armed with my camera and got some PICTURES!!!!!!  It was really hot on Sat so we didn't sort too many cows (we didn't want to over heat the cattle) and when we got done Mark jumped in the tractor and finished planting what was left of the seed we had.  We were a couple bags short so again our seed dealer being so dedicated to serving his customers sent out some more seed Sunday morning with his hired man who also helped us finish planting while we hauled more cows out to grass!!!  In 3 days we got the planter hooked up, adjusted, all of the seed in the ground, all the cows sorted, 1 pasture filled with pairs and we each put in a full day work at our "day jobs".  We couldn't have gotten so much accomplished without the help from our family.  This is what American Family Farms is about.  Coming together to make sure we all have a chance of succeeding!!!!

Starting to plant another 1 of our fields!  Mark is walking behind the planter
to make sure it is putting the right amount of seeds in the ground and that
the level is adjusted properly!

May 7, 2012

Building Fences

When you have livestock you can guarantee that you will ALWAYS have fence to fix, rebuild, relocate, and tare down.  As I am writing this right now I would bet there is at least 1 critter at our place plotting out which fence to break next!!!!!  Even the most permanent and sturdy of fences will eventually need some TLC.  The whole process goes something like this 1-build new fence, 2- over then next 5, 10 or 20 years you maintain the fence (few staples here, new piece of wire there, replace a broken post here and there), 3- after you can no longer fix the fence it is time to tare it down and start all over.  We have a catch pen/load out pen at 1 of our summer pastures that was in dire need of some TLC.  The past 2 years we have held our breathe every time we walked a group of cows up the ally way to the load out hoping that they would ignore the leaning of the fence and the holes that couldn't really be repair any longer (with out serious work). 

The wooden part was so old and rotten that if a cow or calf even though about touching it the whole works was going to come down.  This spring the land lord gave us some fencing supplies to rebuild the catch pen!!!  After a bit of engineering and design.  We came up with a plan to get the most use out of the resources given to us and create a loading pen that is functional.  Not to mention compared to the old pen this 1 looks pretty darn good too!!! 
Phase 1 Destruction...  Our land lord, doing some destruction!
Notice the broken and leaning post
in the background it was not the only 1... 

Not everything we do at the farm is 100% labor intensive work, Destruction is always a great way to blow off a little steam and make a mess.  The guy we lease the pasture took his loader tractor and a portable post hole digger over to the pasture and helped us (or we helped him, not real sure which) and we spent 1 evening this week tearing down the old fence, setting the new posts in the ground, and laying out the new fence.  Oh and we did clean up the mess we created during the destruction portion of the evening!!  Not to mention he bought us a burger in town when we were done!!!  All and all not a bad way to spend a really beautiful spring evening!! 

Note to cedar trees.  If you grow in the fence line you will
be chopped down....   

Mark headed to repair the H brace in the corner.  All of the
Destruction and clean up is done... Now to set some posts

Different Angle of the area to be replaced

Nothing like the sight of new posts and fence!!! 

May 4, 2012

Farm Foto Friday

I wasn't a very good blogger over the weekend.  I wanted to get some pictures of working the calves however, I failed.  We got over 2 inches of rain on Friday which made sorting take longer in the mud.  I was to pre-occupied getting things taken care of for the cattle I forgot to take some pictures.  Mom was going to take some but once we got started our crew was so great that it didn't take as long as we thought so she almost didn't have diner ready.  Even though it was muddy out side the inside of the shed was nice and dry to work calves, the crew did a great job, and dinner was a hit!  This week we worked on getting fences fixed and pastures ready so we can start moving the cows and calves to their summer vacation home this weekend.  Another busy weekend already in the works!!  Happy Friday!!!

Lining up for the feed wagon to bring supper!!

The food is finally being brought to the table!! 

After the cows get a spot at the dinner table the calves are wandering around looking
for a spot they can squeeze in and get a little distillers grain and hay!!

Testing a new product out on our "little red" heifer!  It passed the sniff test, the taste it with just the tip of the tongue test, and finally it did past the edible material test!!

After part of our Destruction was complete!!!

May 3, 2012

Why we Tag our Cattle....

A few weeks ago I was visiting with a co-worker at the office and they asked if I had "big plans for the weekend".  Well at that time we were smack dab in the middle of calving season.  So without thought or hesitation I said that I would be baby sitting a bunch of cows and tagging the new born calves, do the feeding chores maybe a hour earlier so that we could maybe eat supper before the hour of 10 pm, and if I had some "spare" time maybe get some laundry done.  That is when I got the deer in the head lights look and was asked "tag the calves????".  Yep I "had lost them at hello" =0) and it only took me a few seconds to realize they were asking if we had some fun "date night" planned, or if we had big plans to do something classified as fun not work.  It is so easy sometimes to forget our audience and forget that in 99% of my daily conversations while at the day job I can speak "farmer/rancher" because I spend my day working with cattle guys and gals. 
Why we tag our calves.  To me it is very simple and obvious.  We need to know which animal is which and be able to identify them from our neighbors calves if they should cross fences.  When you walk out to find 3 or 4 calves out of a group of 150 when 98% of them are solid black and pretty much look the exact same it is like finding a needle in a large hay stack.  And using the identity of "the black calf with the fluffy hair on his for head" only works when it is not raining, snowing, or the wind isn't blowing (which isn't very often in Nebraska).  Tagging involves nothing more than putting a plastic tag in their ear that we can write or if you are really cool you can buy the tags that come pre-stamped from the company with what ever you want printed on them.  It causes no more pain to the animal as does getting your ears pierced.  I have seen people with piercings in places that are way more pain sensitive than the cartilage filled ear.  Every one of our cows are tagged with their own unique number.  We use a 3 digit system where the 1st number is the last digit in the year that the cow was born.  The second 2 numbers help to establish the unique identity. 

007 and her newly tagged calf.  She is the ONLY red cow
currently have but her calf looks very much like the rest.

Cow #007 was born in 2010 and is the only cow in our herd with that particular number.  When she becomes 10 yrs old we will make a black mark underlining the numbers to signify that we need to add 10 yrs to her age.  When the cows give birth we put a smaller tag in the calf's ear with the exact same number as the cow.  That way we know which calf goes with which cow.  We keep track of how each cow performs each year and if she doesn't meet the standards we will sometimes remove her from herd earlier than normal, or if she has a trait that is not desirable we will not keep replacement heifers from her.  The numbers in the steer calves will follow them all the way to the feedlot.  At that time the feedlot we sell to will give them a unique 16 digit Age and Source Verification number (we will put them in sometimes before the calves leave, but 1 buyer likes using their own series of numbers to save time on data entry) tag which is referenced back to our ranch tag number.  Only number like it in the whole United States.  Some of the new tags have these 16 digit numbers stored electronically and can be scanned with a scanner which can be downloaded to a computer program.  This works great when working calves, you can scan the tag and that animals life history will come up on the computer, then new data (weight, vaccine or medications given, breeding data) can be added to that animals life history.
This calf (#149) was born to cow #149.  The yellow tag in his left ear (your right) is an Age and Source Verification tag.  Above the "2968" you can see is the 16 digit number that is unique to this calf. 

 When the feedlot gives us the feedlot and carcass data back at the end of the feeding period we will reference that data to the cow each calf came from.  This helps us to identify which cows are the best and are meeting our goals.  So tagging is very important in giving a unique identity to each animal on our farm and gives us a great tool to monitor our productivity on an individual basis.

Even the bulls get tagged.  At a glance I know that this bull was born in 2009 (the 2 digits at the top) his breed is SimAngus (the S in the middle), his unique # is 3, and the 007 at the bottom is a reference to his father.  This helps to prevent mix-ups, as this bull is known for lower birth weights and is the bull we use on our yearling heifers. 
We also use color to help us identify our cattle and differentiate them from the neighbors or within our own herd.  We lease the majority of our cow, we tag those cows and calves with white tags.  Even though we do own a portion of the calves born every year we tag them all to match.  Any cow, bull, or calf born to cows we own are tagged in pink.  That way we see at a glance which animal belongs to whom. 

This is 1 of our 3 sets of twins this year.  They both have the number 024 which is the cows number.  We know that the cow was born in 2000 not 2010, can't see the line on the other tag it was hard to get 6 ears belonging to 3 different animals facing the right way at the same time.  We put  the letter "a" or "b" above the calf number to uniquely identify which twin is which.  These 2 are so identical only a mother could tell them apart and I am not sure she knows which is which some days!!!