Don't Forget About the Bulls
Thanks for everybody that commented on naming the calf. After all the input, I decided to name him Will. I think it's very fitting and I want you all to know that he is doing well. He is still in the corral with his mother because I don't feel safe turning him out. He seems to be starting to try to get on his toes instead of his knuckles, but he still has a ways to go.
The weather has been nicer lately, but today brought snow again. It wasn't much, but it was wet and sticky. Tonight is supposed to bring more, with NOAA forecasting 3-5 inches of snow. Today also brought many more calves. The cows are calving rapidly now and keeping us busy. The big news of the day came from my brother: the last heifer has calved! It's always a big deal to be done calving the first-calf heifers. We worry about them the most since they have never done it before and we are happy to put that part of the season behind us.
I had a question last week about the bulls and wanted to touch on them this week. They are only breeding cows for about two months of the year. This gives us our narrow calving season from late February to early May. So what are they doing the rest of the year? Absolutely nothing! That makes for a quick blog post doesn't it? While the cows are working hard calving and taking care of their newborns, the bulls are eating hay, laying about, occasionally fighting each other, and, I imagine, dreaming of breeding season.
That's not to say what they are doing isn't important. To them is simply eating and doing what bulls do, but to us it is vital that they are eating properly and staying healthy. Their nutrition now plays a critical role in their ability to do their job. Fertility and structural soundness are key to their success. They are 50% of the genetic input in next years calves so don't forget about the bulls!
by Brandon Greet