Calving Season 2016 – Not all Fun and Games

Calving Season 2016 – Not all Fun and Games

Our next available beef by the quarter, half or whole will be ready for delivery on April 30th.  If you are interested, please contact us at farmer@minkafarm.com for information and availability.  For custom cut beef (half or whole), we will need to have your order by April 20, 2016.

Minka Story-of-the-Week

Calving season has begun!  Actually, we’re about halfway through at this point, but this calving season has seen more “problem births” than usual.

Our first calf arrived on February 23, about a week earlier than expected.  The bull calf (who’s ID number is “D1”) was born just fine, but the dam (the momma cow)’s system knew the calf was early and didn’t release the placenta as usually happens.  In order to keep an eye on the health of the cow and calf, and do as little intervention as possible (we like to let nature take it’s course as much as possible without risking the lives of the animals), we brought the pair up to the hay barn where there’s a treatment stall set up.  The cow (who’s ID is “W26”) and calf are right there next to the herd, so they don’t feel isolated, but we can take better care of them.  Finally, with only a little intervention, the dam passed the placenta and we moved the pair back into the field.  While they were in the treatment stall, several more calves were born so D1 had playmates!  It was so cool to watch him run around, enjoy the sun and have fun with the other calves.

 This is D1, the first calf born. He is doing quite well.

This is D1, the first calf born. He is doing quite well.

 This mom is quite protective. D10 was not allowed to play with the other calves for days!

This mom is quite protective. D10 was not allowed to play with the other calves for days!

 This little girl needed help being born. One leg turned back had her quite stuck. She is doing well now!

This little girl needed help being born. One leg turned back had her quite stuck. She is doing well now!

In addition to the retained birthing membranes, we have one very large calf who needed a lot of help to be born.  Both mom and D3 are doing great! We also had one calf who wasn’t positioned correctly and needed help as well.  Normally, calves are born with the front feet coming out first, right next to each other with the nose between their front legs.  D8 tried to be born with one leg out front, then her head and the other front leg back along her body.  A little help from our on-site vet and the baby was repositioned correctly and the birth could happen like normal.  Mom and baby are doing well.

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In case you are wondering how we name our cattle, there is a system.  Each year has a letter assigned by the beef council.  This year, 2016, is “D”.  2017 will be “E.”  Some letters are skipped, such as “V,” to avoid confusion on ear tags, but most are used.  While this lettering system makes for more standard identification, it is entirely optional.  The numbering system used is entirely up to the producer.  We have decided to number our males with odd digits and our females with even digits.  We also number in order so that we know that D1 is older than D8.  This means that sometimes we skip numbers when two males are born in a row.  So far this year we have 10 calves: D1, D3, D4, D5, D6, D8, D10, D11, D13 and D14 – 5 each boys and girls.  We’re about halfway through the expected number of calves!

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