The only thing anyone is talking about lately is how long it has been hot and dry. The pastures are burnt up, the creeks lack any flowing water, and folks are having to start feeding hay. Its not a great situation to be in, to say the least.
As of now, being 18 days into September, Eden Shale has only had 0.06 of an inch of rain for the month. We are certainly dry, but we still have some grass, in addition to some hay fields that we can graze for the next couple of weeks. Hopefully October will bring us some relief from the heat and conditions will normalize.
The first part of September was spent gathering feed troughs, moving shade structures, and getting the barn ready for weaning. On September 11th Greg and I had KBN Facilitators Ron Shrout, Jacob Settles, and Jeff Stephens at the farm to help us wean the calves. Also in attendance was Dr. Steve Higgins and Becky Thompson. Having plenty of help is the first step to making sure working cows goes smoothly…
On this day all the cows were weighed and vaccinated (Triangle 10, Alpha 7, Eprinex Pour-On). This year the cows maintained a better condition score throughout the summer and looked better than they ever had at weaning. The cows averaged 1183 lbs at weaning, which was up 39 pounds from last year, but still a very moderate sized cow. We also have a very young cow herd due to the fact that we have been keeping our own replacement heifers for the past 6 years. We now have 67% of the cows in the herd were born on the farm, making them 6 years old or younger. This gives us a lot of potential productivity in our herd for the foreseeable future.
The calves were also weighed and vaccinated (Pyramid 5 + Presponse SQ, Alpha 7, Eprinex Pour-On, a cultured pinkeye vaccine, and the steers were implanted with Synovex S). The calves also looked good this year. They are much more uniform in both size and color than they have been in years past. As a group, their weaning weight was 474, which was 10 lbs lighter than last year. This doesn’t concern me too much due to the uniformity of the group and the fact that our cows our so young. As for efficiency, our cows weaned off 40% of their body weight, which was the same as last year.
Per usual, we will retain and develop the heifers to be herd replacements. The steers will be backgrounded for about 90 days and sold in a CPH sale around early December.
To watch how the calves perform post weaning you can follow along on here at our blog. We also have the Open House Field Day on October 12th which we will be looking at the cow herd that day as well. If you plan to attend the field day, please RSVP to 859-278-0899 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.