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!!   

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