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Monday, March 23, 2015

Moo Cow Monday ~ How Now Brown Cow?

You have all seen us speak about "Black Cows".
When we post on social media, the hashtag #BlackCows is normally used, if we are posting about the cattle.
We also use #IamAngus, because Cletus, the herd bull, is a registered Angus bull, Jr, the heifer bull, is an Angus crossbred bull, and most of our cows have Angus influence.

Last week, we had our first Mot Face calf born.
 We have two Mot Faced mommas and one Bald Face momma in our herd.
Typically when they calve, their babies look like them.
While tagging the calf, it was raining, therefore, the calf and momma were pretty wet.
I thought the calf was much lighter then the other calves, but again, whilst tagging you really don't have enough time to pay attention to color detail.
You are checking the overall health of the calf and making sure momma isn't getting the tagger.
No one needs to be stressed, so tagging is done as quickly and easily as possible, making sure momma and baby are paired back together, so momma can take baby to where she feels safe.

Fast forward two days, because this momma, Dona (we have talked about her before), doesn't like to bring her baby up.
It seems to be a control thing with her...
Do you see it?

The close up...

That calf is REALLY brown!

Now, I know my genetics.
I have an Animal Science degree.
Genetics was one of my most favorite courses.

Most bald face or mot face cattle come from a Hereford and an Angus cross breeding.
Typically the black in the Angus is the dominant and the Hereford marks the white.
This is why momma (Dona) is black with white face markings.

It is rare that a Angus/Hereford Momma bred to a registered Angus bull would produce a brown calf.
But it did!
 How Now Brown Cow?

Rancher Girl

Friday, March 20, 2015


AGvocate is a term being used, in today's industry, by many Farmers and Ranchers.
I actually used the word, in a social media comment, this week.
I may have a stalker on said social media, because as soon as I posted the comment, one of my friends sent a text asking "What the heck does AGvocate mean?"

Here is my Rancher Girl Definition of AGvocate:
1) To speak in favor of agriculture.
2) To recommend agriculture publicly.
3) To support and promote interests in agriculture.

Gone are the days of the Farmers and Ranchers only doing work, in the fields and pastures, tending to crops and livestock.
There has been much controversy surrounding our industry, from grain fed to grass fed meat, free range to pasture range eggs, and even genetically modified food.
As if feeding the world wasn't hard enough!

With the rise in population and activist groups, consumers have been removed from the "good ole" Farmers and Ranchers who feed the world.
Many will argue the way our industry cares for our livestock, the fuel used to complete our jobs, the consumption of feed stuffs fed, and the manner in which to produce what feeds your family.

Farmers and Ranchers can no longer keep to themselves and just do the job they love.
They must get out in the public eye, conform to new technology, and speak about what they do daily.
Bygone are the Farmers and Ranchers of the 20th century.
It is my opinion, the "new generation" of consumers are so far removed from farm and ranch life, they will believe everything read on the internet.
We all know "Everything you read on the internet is true!" right?

It has now become the Farmers and Ranchers job to AGvocate the world.
We must do our part to rebuild faith and trust in the industry.
We must stop the false accusations and made up stories.
It is our duty, as Farmers and Ranchers, to paint a new picture of hope.
The type of pictures past generations of Farmers and Ranchers painted.

Many consumers want to know where their food comes from.
I don't blame them.
I want to know too!
It is one of the reasons we raise our own beef, purchase hogs from local 4-H/FFA kids, have chickens, and shop farmers markets for produce.
If we don't tell the consumer, about Rockin' B Ranch and Drew's EGGcelent EGGs, who will?

I find myself, more and more, telling our story.
Whether it be social media, blogging, or simple conversation to an egg customer, I am AGvocating.

As members of the industry, we can't down play what one Farmer or Rancher does vs the other Farmer or Rancher.
We must be supportive of the industry on the whole.

Our beef is grain fed and our eggs are free range.
If a customer is looking for grass fed beef or pasture range eggs, we must be able to direct them to the proper source.
We expect those suppliers to do the same.

That is how we AGvocate!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - National Ag Day!

Happy National Ag Day!
We Love the life we live!

Rancher Girl

Monday, March 16, 2015

Moo Cow Monday #CalfWatch2015

If you follow us on the Rockin' B Ranch facebook page, you are well aware our calving season started last week.
Folks in the ranching community use the hashtag #CalfWatch2015 for quick following.
We have decided to join in.

We give our calf watch report at the end of the day.
Included is the number of calves born that day and a few stats about them.

I have to say, I won a battle with Flower Boy.
He has always been one to have calves born January to March.
He wrote about it in this post.

This last year, I have begged (yes, begged) to wait to turn bulls out until June.
June bull turn out will yield March babies.
As we all know, March is also Daylight Savings Time providing more evening light hours.
Thus we are not searching, tagging and checking cattle after dark, because we work day jobs.

We are having March babies!
I won!

Actually, Flower Boy told one of his cowboy buddies this weekend, he was somewhat glad we waited to turn bulls out.
We have had a nasty winter.
Had we been calving January through now, I have fear we would have had an entire herd of calves in our garage and bottle feeding many!

Our first baby was born on Monday, March 9, the day after Daylight Savings Time.
It was #3 cow.
She is the first cow to the feed truck and normally sticks her head in the window to say hello to Princess Sheba.
When she wasn't at the gate, we knew she had calved.

The problem with good mommas (or the good thing about good mommas) is they hide their babies for a few days before bringing them to the herd or cake line.
This forces us out of the truck and on somewhat of a hike.
I often compare searching for a calf to an Easter Egg Hunt.
Those mommas can hide their babies well!

We spent two evenings searching for the first two calves born.
 Just like magic they appear!

 Tagging is not always easy.
Our momma cows are very friendly and are use to being handled.
But there is something about the bawl of their calf that makes them a little nervous!

The key is to move quickly, keep the calf between you and momma, and always have someone stand watch.
Now, for the person standing watch (me), make sure you have your camera!
You are in for a show.

 Sometimes the rancher gets lucky and the baby is laying down.

Once tagging is complete, mommas immediately pair up with their babies and take them to safety.

Then you have the mommas who bring in backup protection!

I was not getting off the truck during that tagging!

After tagging, Flower Boy documents, in his handy dandy notebook, details of birth, sex, tag, health and mommas attitude.
This ranchers log is good record keeping to look back on if problems arise during the year or even for next years calving season.
In our operation, and most others, the calf tag number coincides with the momma's tag number.
Heifers are tagged in one ear, while bulls are tagged in the other.

The bright orange tags sure do stand out when a calf is laying in a thicket.

He thought he was hiding the entire time.

Mommas place there babies and expect them to not leave their spot until she returns for them.
Princess Sheba found this little guy in a clump of cedar trees.

The guys had to climb in and almost belly crawl in to tag him.

As of last evening, our #CalfWatch2015 was 5 calves, yielding 3 heifers and 2 bulls.
Numbers 3, 4, 14, 20 and 21 mommas and babies are all doing great!
Thanks for following along!

Rancher Girl