Cattle herd update for February 2018

Yesterday we did our spring workups of our cattle herd. This entails bringing every cow, both bull and baby, into the corral and then one by one into the head gate. There they are inspected, ear tags checked, weighed, and if needed dewormed. All total we have 56 cows between the beef herd and the milking herd.

We used to deworm all the cows routinely when I was growing up. That was just a normal part of having cattle. Then I started managed intensive grazing and found that the professed elimination of deworming was nearly correct. When the cows are out on pasture, moving to fresh grass every day, they simply do not need to be dewormed. Cows gain weight, their coats look good, and overall they are much healthier.

But when we switch to winter time feeding, even if we move them around, they still spend too much time in one place. And therefore by the end of winter some of the cows are showing too much sign of a parasite load. What we’ve found best is one time during the late winter, we bring the cows in and inspect them one by one. For the ones that are needing some help, we deworm them. For the majority, we do nothing. Everyone hits fresh spring pasture in good shape and they spend the rest of the year in a natural cycle. For any cows that we are planning on eating in the next few months, we make sure that they do not get any deworming. If they needed deworming, we would give it to them, but they’d be pushed back to later in the year for their appointment at the processor.

The last thing we do is to publicly show what it is we are doing. To show who got what treatment, how much, etc. Not listed in this list of cows is our two milk cows, their two calves, and Lil’ Bit the belted galloway and the one cow that is in time out for being greedy, #79. All those cows don’t need any deworming or weights (we aren’t eating them), at least right now. Here is our spreadsheet of cows, weights, and what we did on February 28th.

Ear tag color
Ear tag number
Yellow 92 47 None None
Yellow 59 551 Ivomec 5cc
Yellow 75 516
Red 37 1051 None None
Yellow 64 830 Ivomec 8cc
Yellow 99 94 None None
Yellow 97 413 None None
Yellow A?, Cut on bottom
1219 None None Very tall, not fat
Yellow 70 763 Ivomec 7cc
Yellow 83 594 None None
Yellow 81 573 Ivomec 7cc
Yellow 84 513 None Crazy
Red 42 1303 None None
Yellow 86 423 None None
Boyd Unweighed None None
Red 50 965 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow A?, No markings 1116 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 68 772 None None
Yellow 50 1379 Ivomec 14cc
Yellow 87 302 None None
Yellow 80 370 None None
Yellow 33 1195 Ivomec 11cc
Yellow 46 1127 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow A?, vertical cut,
Stain on right
1188 None None
Yellow 58 823 None None
Yellow 73 766 Ivomec 7cc
Yellow 51 943 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow A?, cut off ear tag 1328 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 72 811 Ivomec 8cc
Red 41 1078 None
Yellow 54 865 Ivomec 8cc
Yellow 77 727 None None
Yellow 100 82 None None
Yellow 98 363 None None
Yellow 88 336 Ivomec 3cc
Yellow 76 596 None None
Yellow 1 1298 None None
Yellow 85 363 None None
Yellow 23 1009 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 45 1066 None None
Yellow A?, No cut 1158 None None
Yellow 66 1106 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 74 1111 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 67 1014 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 93 88 None None
Yellow 61 709 Ivomec 7cc
Yellow A12 1135 Ivomec 10cc
Yellow 96 279 None None
Yellow 65 1023 Ivomec 10cc
Red 40 1240 Ivomec 10cc


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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

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