Thursday, March 28, 2013


Are the girls pregnant?  Time will tell.  Here's what we do know.
Casper, March 28, 2011
Casper was born on March 28, 2011.  He was the product of Dorie and our neighbour's angus cross bull.

Toothless, June 13, 2011

We bought Toothless at the auction, days old.  He is probably a holstein cross.
Steaks, far right, August 13, 2011

We bought Steaks, a 14 month old  charolais cross on August 13, 2011.  We butchered him on November 15, 2011.  He had 3 months with the girls, and produced Sharlotte.  He won't be anybody's daddy this year, but I thought I'd include him in this bull post any way, just for the history.

Casper, September 30, 2011, 6 months.
He was growing up fast and strong.  
Toothless, Dec. 2011, just weaned, 5 months.
He was obviously not the same kind of stud as Casper.
Casper, red bull in background, October  2012, 19 months.
When we butchered Casper he was old enough to reproduce.  We did catch him trying to climb on Nelly a few times, but he showed no interest in the other girls.  We found out his castration had been a failure during butchering.  Any calves born before July 23, 2013 could be his.

March 18, 2013
Our newest arrival, Monsoon.  I don't know whether we'll be keeping him, or one of the other bull calves we plan to raise this year, as Toothless' future replacement.  I was hoping to get a meat bull calf for future breeding, however, now that we have a jersey, a smaller breed is more suitable to our overall needs.

Toothless, March 2013
Toothless, now 21 months old.  He's still pretty small, and therefore might not be able to get the job done.  We witnessed him climbing on Nelly and trying to climb on Dorie last fall.  He could be any calf born this year's father.

Toothless, March 2013
We have not seen him trying to climb on anyone since Christmas.  That may be an indication that all of the girls are pregnant now, with the last calf due as late as October 2013.  It's also possible that we just haven't SEEN him trying to climb on top of the girls since December.  Toothless will most likely be the 'breeding stock' for this fall, possibly longer, depending on his attitude and behaviour, and if or when he produces a heifer calf that we plan to keep.  I would really like to get a heifer calf from him and Mildred for future milk.

A cow's estrus (heat) cycle is every 18-24 days year round.  I don't usually watch for it.  I figure, I provided the bull, the rest is up to them.  I may try keeping a better eye on things if there are no bulges appearing in the next few months, especially with Mindy.  If she doesn't produce this year she'll likely be headed for the freezer.  Without a definitive cut off date for delivery, we may have to get her vet checked to make sure she's not pregnant in the fall.

Although I lean toward believing that Sharlotte was Mindy's calf, due to colour, size, and we believe that Dorie is now dried off, she still hasn't proven herself as a 'good' mother.  Which means she's been living here 'rent free' for four years.  It may not be entirely her fault- the bulls may not have been up to par, and Dorie may have been a thief- but the end result is the same.  We need beef for the freezer and she hasn't been producing.

If she does produce this year, we will likely buy another yearling in the next few months, for this year's beef.  It will be male, and possibly not castrated.  If not castrated, it could breed with any open girls before butchering, for 2014 calves.

1 comment:

  1. Dorie is smart. Why mess around with the bulls, have to be fat and pregnant, then have a little one dragging on a teat. Four years rent free sounds like she is playing the system. lol