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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spoiled heifers

Today I took some time to go get a really good look at our yearling heifers who are mixed in with most of the older cows. We have them running in the fields that we cut for hay, so they have some alfalfa to pick at in additon to being feed hay daily.  We have one heifer who should calve earlier than any of the other heifers or cows. She got in with the bulls a full two weeks before we turned the bulls out with our cows. She should calve around March 14 or March 15. Quite a few of the heifers are fairly friendly and several will eat out of my hand. I decided to spoil them some and went back home for some cow cake to feed them. One of these heifers was a bottle calf for awhile after her mom died. She became kind of a pet, although she weaned herself in August when she quit coming when she was called for her bottle. She has remained friendly and grown into a pretty decent looking girl. Wearing pink tag number 100 and green tag 8N, we call her Nibs or Nibbie. She got her name because she was just a little nib of a calf, just like the black licorice candy called Nibs. Another one of this bunch of friendly girls is 801green tag, 33pink. She, Nibs and several other heifers are actually pigs when it comes to getting cake from me! Today feeding them was fun as it always is with an added twist. I had older cows coming to eat from my hand, which normally does not happen. We do have a nice quiet bunch of cattle, so it shouldn't have surprised me except there were so many who did. In addition, one cow in particular, was really a surprise. Number 318 comes from a group of heifers we bought that were wilder than wild when we brought them home. We joked and called them our athletic heifers as they ran when ever they were approached. Thru attrition their numbers have declined but we still have the majority of them. They have tamed down, but there have been some real stinkers dispostionwise who went to the sale barn. Number 318 has been threatened with the same fate a time or two because she can be pretty cranky. It was pretty unbelievavle when she pushed her way thru the bunch and actually reached out and took the cake I offered her out of my hand!

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