June 7, 2012

The life of a Steer and Heifer on our Farm

We get to see our calves grow and develop into either feedlot steers and heifers or replacement heifers bound to become the next generation of baby makers.  I always find it exciting to see them born and even more fun and exciting to see them grow and develop before they leave our farm or become our next set of cows.  I thought I take enough pictures of the calves that I could pick out a couple and follow them from the beginning of their journey to the end and I thought that you all might like to see them grow and develop over the 9-12 months that they are either with us and/or before they make the leap from calf category to cow category. 
I chose steer number 040 he was born on March 12 to a first calf heifer.  I chose him because he happens to be 1 of our steer calves that is a stand out...  No matter which groups of cow and calves he is with he always catches your eye and you notice him.  Part of it is because he is a little lighter in color that most of our black calves, but mostly because he is a great representation of a heavy muscled steer that will perform well and eventually be a beautiful rib eye on someones dinner plate.  The heifer calf I picked to follow is 007, after only a few short months she has the high (very high) potential of ending up in our replacement pen of heifers.  She is out of a 1st calf heifer as well so she is a half sister to 040.  She is also out of 1 of the cows Mark and I actually own so she will be a contributing to the building of our own herd aside from the herd we lease.  007 was born on April 14 and was the last calf born out of the group of first time mom's this year.  For being born 30 days later she is still on the older end of our calves this year.  We calve for 90 days and had well over 90% of our calves born in the first 42 days.  Here are some pictures from the first 2 months of their lives so far!

040 just a few minutes old!!  With in minutes he was on his feet and looking for lunch!

He is about a month or so old here.  The calves we get our of his sire tend to have a lighter black color.  They get lighter after they are born but will turn more black when their hair sheds.

040 at almost 2 months old.  He likes to stand so that his big muscles are flexed, it matches his "I am tough" attitude.  He has been at the summer vacation home for about 3 weeks. 

007 - yes this is a cow not the calf, the calf is still nice and comfy inside the cow right now.  She was born a couple weeks after this picture was taken. 

Less than 30 minutes old.  I went by the pen not 40 minute before this to check cows and the cow was not showing too many signs that there was a delivery in route at least not in the next few minutes.  When I went back 40 minutes later to start feeding (in an effort to beat the nasty storms that were brewing over head) there was a new calf trying to get her first meal... 

She got to spend the night in the suite in the barn, a nasty thunder storm with hail and wind was developing right after she was born so to not take any chances momma and baby went to spend the the night in the dry barn...

007 about a month old loving the summer vacation home

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