I always look forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall because of the nice green pastures that come with the fall rains. This year is no exception, I just wish we had more rain, and earlier then we did this year. Fall is also a very busy time as there are many things to do with the cattle.
Each fall we pregnancy check all the cows to find the ones that are not carrying a calf. Reproductive performance is probable the most important characteristic for a cow/calf ranch. Each cow is expected to breed back after having her calf in the spring, and to do this within a 45 day breeding period. Each year that are a few cows that turn up open (not breed), and these animals are culled from the herd. As we continue to do this year after year our fertility and reproductive performance in the herd will improve.
We did try a brand new method of checking the reproductive status of the cows this year. We used a method called a BioPRYN test that has been developed. It works by taking a small (2cc) blood sample from each cow, and sending this sample to a lab. Within 2 days we get back the results-pregnant or not pregnant. The process worked very well for us. It took about the same amount of time, and the cost was less. At this point, I think we will use this technique in future years. Of course, we will know next spring if there have been any errors.
We also use this opportunity to give the cows their annual vaccinations. This assures that the cattle will stay healthy. The health status of our cows is excellent, and I credit this to our isolation, our management, our feeding program, and the vaccinations program.
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We still have Beef by the Box available, just send an email or call (360-264-2890) if you have questions or would like to place an order.
Nov. 12, 2009