Author Topic: Cows, calves, negative temps  (Read 324 times)

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Offline Grandma Bear

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Cows, calves, negative temps
« on: February 12, 2021, 10:35:00 pm »
Me, SIL, pregnant DD, and the grandboys (well bundled and worn under our coveralls) had to search for over 2 hours today for one of our cows who just loves to pick the coldest day of the year to calve...and she flat out refuses to have her babies anywhere near the rest of the herd or the barn. We finally found her with a beautiful fat heifer trying to get up and nurse, and coaxed them both up to the loafing barn that isn't normally used this time of year. We are pretty sure momma will keep the baby warm, but were starting to worry about the coyotes...thankfully our faithful coyote stomping donkey decided to stay at the loafing barn too. Now the challenge is toting water that far for the cow several times a day until it's warm enough to move them to the barn they belong in! We've been trying to calculate freeze times for 5 gallon buckets at 3 degrees since that will be the average. I have decided that I hate math  :'(

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2021, 11:39:10 pm »
That's a lot of water hauling.  You might be better off figuring out how long you can haul a 5 gallon bucket of water before you get frostbite.

I have one vague memory of walking my grandfather's farm when I was around 5 or 6, looking for a cow that had calved in a snowstorm, away from the barn.  I wasn't sure if I was remembering it right.  I though cows calved in the Spring.

Thanks for the memory jog.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2021, 10:32:15 am »
I can remember waking up on several winter mornings to find a calf in the kitchen.  One calf had lost part of her hoof and she turned out to be a great mother later.

I would determine how much water is necessary too.  Don't carry more than you need to only to have to dump out a chunk of ice.
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2021, 09:55:39 pm »
We ended up only having to fill one mineral tub with water, and hauling her range cubes and hay once. She came back down the fence line today along with the prettiest little February heifer we've had yet. Thank the Lord I don't have to worry so much about the watering now...there's not a really good way to hike that and DD had to take the truck to work today.

Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2021, 09:34:55 am »
Well, ya win some and ya lose some I reckon. We noticed one of the cows had wandered off again and all went looking again. SIL put DD in the side by side and they found the momma with her dead calf. Not wanting to leave the calf to attract coyotes they wanted to move it so SIL tried to pick it up and put it on the back of the side by side when momma charged the side by side, hooked it with a horn and proceeded to try to flip it over with my pregnant DD sitting in it. Thankfully my DD ain't no sissy pregnant or no and pushed the calf off the back of the thing and started chucking her boots at the momma to back her down...my kid has some amazing aim when need be. After all of us getting back to the house and warming up the babies I had with me I was super happy they found momma and not me with 2 tiny boys strapped one on front and one on back.

The herd is a Brahma/Hereford cross, beautiful tiger striped cows who are excellent foragers and rarely need help calving,  but their temperament isn't the most gentle in the world. 

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 09:42:22 am »
 :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Girl Power all the way! That’s an incredible woman.
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 09:49:43 am »
:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

Girl Power all the way! That’s an incredible woman.

My DD is quite the unusual gal, and tougher than a bucket of nails. After the first baby was born the Army did what the Army does and deployed her hubby when baby #1 was only 3 weeks old...SIL was gone for a year to the middle east. She took care of this place by herself then and again when baby #2 came along and hubby got deployed at 4 weeks. We have pictures of her wearing a baby in a sling, toting a toddler behind her and carrying bottles for calves before she went to work for the day, and then coming home to do it all again after work. We have kind of a running bet now on when and for how long SIL will be deployed after this baby gets here  :laugh:

Iddee knows my little Baby Beek all too well, he can tell ya ... she's a force to be reckoned with. We are often told it's because we are redheads that we tend to be a bit stubborn....but I bleached mine blonde for years and it made no difference at all  :laugh:

Offline Wandering Man

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 09:56:57 am »
Redheads! I’m sure that makes a difference. 3Reds is a redhead, and so are our 2 sons. One of our 3 granddaughters is a redhead, too. Having her helped my daughter in law understand the unwanted attention and prejudice you get growing up red.

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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2021, 11:11:31 am »
Redheads! I’m sure that makes a difference. 3Reds is a redhead, and so are our 2 sons. One of our 3 granddaughters is a redhead, too. Having her helped my daughter in law understand the unwanted attention and prejudice you get growing up red.

We do get A LOT of unwanted attention and often negative comments about redheads, and we have no idea what the fuss is about. We chose several years ago to stop trying to tone down the reds with brown or blonde dye and just enjoy our coppers and auburns and strawberry strands. I have no clue why people are so prejudiced (or have such odd ideas) about redheads. But whew....some of those comments from men especially are just so disgusting! Possibly part of where DD developed such great throwing aim?

My sons all have red on the sides of their beards...looks like stripes running down each side of their mouths. I don't remember which one but one of them looked it up and said that is almost always true for men whose mother is a redhead. My oldest boy is cotton top blonde with a red beard, the middle is dark blonde with a red beard, the youngest is dark complected with dark hair light blue eyes and a red beard.

Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2021, 11:42:07 am »
Our little redhead bunch













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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2021, 04:45:47 pm »
Keep those redheads coming!  Redheads are the result of a genetic mutation and both parents have to be carriers of the gene.  I have 2 beautiful step children that are gingers.
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2021, 11:28:21 am »
Keep those redheads coming!  Redheads are the result of a genetic mutation and both parents have to be carriers of the gene.  I have 2 beautiful step children that are gingers.

I'm sure there will be several more redheads born into the family...especially if DD gets her say. SIL is native american and finds it hilarious that his two boys both have so much of a red tint to their hair. He said the redhead gene must be tough to beat  :laugh:

Offline Gypsi

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2021, 10:42:37 pm »
I knew there was a reason I kept chickens and bees instead of cattle.   wow.  Hope you get many healthy calves this spring
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2021, 03:45:56 pm »
I knew there was a reason I kept chickens and bees instead of cattle.   wow.  Hope you get many healthy calves this spring

We like chickens too, but the cows make the money. We got another healthy baby this morning. We shall see what spring brings!

Offline Gypsi

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2021, 06:14:48 pm »
My fish pay the bills here. No horns, lol
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2021, 09:38:44 am »
Gypsi, that sounds so interesting! We don't know much of anything about fish though. We have raised so many different kinds of critters over the years that we are usually willing to try almost anything.

The cows are usually not terrible, they are just trying to protect each other and their babies. DD and I have had to round them up and sort and vet and load for market on our own and usually don't have much trouble despite both of us being very petite. The worst incident we've had was that one with the momma charging at the side by side...she normally doesn't do that, but she also hasn't lost a calf before. Up to now the worst we've had to deal with is some bruises on our arms from hopping as quickly as possible over the corral gate, or fighting to keep the head chute still while a cow being vetted is unhappy. But yes, fish sound MUCH easier!

Offline Gypsi

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2021, 04:34:40 pm »
Fish on the other hand require electricity, at least in Texas, at least the kind I keep and have kept. And the tropical fish industry, fresh and saltwater, took a huge hit out of a weeklong power outage. Stores losing thousands in living inventory, hobbyists losing a lot too. Hobbyists with reef tanks got hit the hardest.   And people with discus, which require very warm temperatures.

Nowadays I mainly service ponds, although I keep a few tropical fish in one commercial tank, and a few at my house. Pond fish handled the cold pretty well. I don't seem to have lost any. Took 2 days thawing to find out.
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Offline Grandma Bear

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Re: Cows, calves, negative temps
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2021, 08:46:31 pm »
Fish on the other hand require electricity, at least in Texas, at least the kind I keep and have kept. And the tropical fish industry, fresh and saltwater, took a huge hit out of a weeklong power outage. Stores losing thousands in living inventory, hobbyists losing a lot too. Hobbyists with reef tanks got hit the hardest.   And people with discus, which require very warm temperatures.

Nowadays I mainly service ponds, although I keep a few tropical fish in one commercial tank, and a few at my house. Pond fish handled the cold pretty well. I don't seem to have lost any. Took 2 days thawing to find out.

That had to be super stressful! I'm so glad that it seems you haven't suffered losses.