If you read the Farmers Almanac you would have noticed that the sign was right to wean calves just after Labor Day in September. Now you may or may not believe in weaning by the sign, but if the moon has the ability to pull our oceans up and down why wouldn’t it be able to effect other things as well?
Using this information we weaned our spring calves on September 9th. Weaning is always a big working so we gathered up enough help to make the day go smooth. Dr. Steve Higgins was generous enough to give us his time that day. Dave Maples and Becky Thompson came from the office, and KBN Facilitator Jeff Stephens drove over from Fleming County to assist Greg and I.
We worked 100 cows and calves that each got weighed, two vaccinations, dewormed, fly tags cut out, and the steers got implanted. Here is the protocol that we used:
Viral: Triangle 10 HB (killed)
BlackLeg: Alpha 7
Collect blood sample for preg test
Viral: Pyramid 5 + Presponse SQ (modified live)
BlackLeg: BarVac 7 with Somnus
Steers: Synovex S Implant
We also used $1,200 of Draxin to treat animals for pinkeye which we have been fighting all summer, despite using a cultured pinkeye vaccine this past spring.
Our weaning weights were a little lower than last year, down 20 pounds to 464. I don’t have a good explanation as to why they were down but I can share some observations.
This summer had some extremely hot conditions this year. June, July, and August had 37 days where the heat index was 90 degrees or greater (it was over 100 degrees ten times). It also seemed that we had more weed pressure than normal this year despite a better effort of mowing and spraying.
I am also afraid that these conditions will have an impact on our pregnancy rates. We did pull blood on the cows and the results are pending, more on that next month.
As of writing this (early Sept) it has started to cool off and we have gotten some rain. Surely the grass will get some good growth this fall and the markets will hold strong. At the end of the day that’s all we can hope for.