On our ranch we really run on Mother Nature’s clock. What I mean is that we grow in the summer (crops and calves), migrate at the end of fall (take our cows to Locomotive), and have babies in the spring. (I would love to hibernate for the winter (what a long nap!) but I don’t think that would work so well…) According to Mother Nature (and Bambi) springtime also means that all the animals, including our cows are twitterpated.
Every May you can count on two things AI-ing and turning the bulls out. This is definitely not a one day thing, in fact what we do is done over a series of weeks and the bulls are left out with the cows most of the summer. So we will break it up into the different parts too!
With our first time heifers we AI (artificially inseminate) them. We want to make sure that they have the best chance of getting bred up well. We also want a little more control of what bull breeds them. When we chose our semen we are able to find bulls that are known to have smaller calves which will be easier for these first time mommas.
In preparation to AI them we first synchronize the heifers so that they will all come into heat at the same time. This makes it easier for The Rancher because then they can all be bred on the same day. We use CIDRs, controlled internal drug releasing devices, which will release hormones to begin them cycling as well as prevent any heifers that may already be in heat from getting bred.
This is sounding way too much like a research paper… In The Rancher’s Wife’s terms the poor girls get all sorts of hormones and birth control to make sure we know when it is… TIME.
|The heifers coming in|
|The Rancher at work|
|Putting the CIDR in|
|The Rancher Sr. putting a CIDR in|
|Grandma helping Rancher Sr.|
|I always volunteer to help… Even though The Rancher tends to get in the way…|
|And The Rancher’s Boy, never missing out on the action or a chance to “Hey cows! Hey!”|