During calving season we get excited about all of the new baby calves. We invest a lot of time in selecting the proper bull or A.I. sire to use with our heifers and spend additional time choosing a few new bulls for our main cow herd.
After nine months we finally get to see the results of our work and planning.
Through our record-keeping process we track the sire of each calf. We keep records on these calves until we sell them next fall. These records help us with our future bull buying decisions and whether or not to use a bull again the following year.
There are piles of statistics on bulls that help us make our decisions. Birth weight, weaning weight, yearling weight, the lists go on and on. And on! For the heifers, we look at the statistics that we can measure within the first year, for example, femininity and disposition.
As exciting as the calves are, I also enjoy watching the heifers become mamas. They have never done this before, this is their first calf. My favorite heifers are those who know that calf is theirs and they will protect that calf from any and all threats. “Threats” may include cowboys in the feed truck, dogs wandering through the field or women armed with a camera. Those new mamas don’t care who you are. You are not going to mess with their calf and that’s final!
I like to think that I had those same powerful maternal instincts as a new mom. Protecting my children from any and all threats. After time I grew weary of the constant threats to a small child. Eventually, and thankfully, common sense took over and I eased up (just a little, I’ll admit) on the over-protectiveness.