Friday, October 3, 2014

Weaning calves

Weaning calves is a job that has to be done every year and we have tried to make it easier on the calves by using Quiet Wean nose tags, a big yellow plastic flap that is put in their nose and they return to the cow for a week or so. It simply prevents them from nursing and cuts the cord so to speak. Bruce's buddy, Grassey, came over last week and helped Bruce put the nose tags in, I hung around and took pictures, helping where it wasn't too strenuous.

The first thing is to get the calves into the barn, they were split into two groups to make it a little easier to work.

One is sorted off and squeezed between the read gate and the south wall of the barn, Grassey is showing his deft footwork.

Bruce pushed the calf to the headgate and this can be a messy or dangerous job, messy because they tend to poop a lot when they are stressed and dangerous because they have sharp little hooves and can kick high.

Come on, little doggy, get in the headgate.

"This won't hurt a bit."

Grassey even got in on the pushing when a small one had to be held in the head gate while Bruce put the nose tag in.

Our two intrepid herding dogs who stay safely on the other side of the gate.

Morris the cat, greatly concerned because he has not has his 9-Lives yet that day.

The yellow nose tag club.

Back with their Mama's and heading for the pasture.

Except for the future cows, it's time for them to stay at the house and get some good food to feed those growing babies in their tummies.

Nice fence, Bruce!

10 days later, sister Rosanne came to visit and Bruce put her to work removing the nose tags. The calves were on to us, they were not going to go in the barn so they had to put up a gate to block the escape route.

I had a little trouble with my camera but it was pretty much like the week before, catch the calves in the head gate and take out the nose tags, Rosanne was in charge of the red gate.

"Hustle, Hustle, Hustle!!" 

Then uses her weight to hold the gate shut, you want to back into the gate because if a calf would hit it and pop it open, you could lose some teeth. This way it will just crack you in the back of the head.

With all the nose tags removed, it was time to bring the creep feeder up to the yard, we'd had rain so it was a muddy mess. Rosanne is getting instructions on removing the anchor bars.

"Hey, you panties are showing!"

Darn pants!

This is why you never want to walk around the pasture in your Sunday best shoes.

"1, 2, 3, LIFT!"

With both sides up and the tractor hooked on, Bruce headed up the lane way and unfortunately ran out of gas.

"Hello, AAA?"

No AAA, just Bruce bringing a jug of gas with the 4 wheeler.

He didn't want me to take a picture of this but I'm just keeping it real here, with old tractors that don't get used much and gas gauges that don't work, that will happen.

It was great having Rosanne here, she did a lot of the heavy lifting for me, we straightened out Leo's shop so Bruce's boat will fit in there for the winter. She also took all the vegetables in the fridge along with the tomatoes, cut them up onto cookie sheets, spread with olive oil and seasonings and roasted them in the oven. It made use of something that was just going to go bad since I'm still not into cooking. When they were cooled I ran them through the blender and have three quarts of the most lovely tomato sauce in the world.

'Be kind to thy sister, not many may know the depths of true sisterly love.' Mary Engelbreight

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