Country Living Series

Monday, April 13, 2015

Raven watch

In our feedlot, the mud is almost literally belly-deep for the cattle.

Thankfully it's not this bad everywhere or the beasties would be in trouble from foot-rot or other ailments. But they have to wade through this muck before achieving the dry island under the awning where the feedboxes are located. The woods are also fairly dry, but the feedlot is simply a mess.

And Raven, one of our cows, is due to give birth at any moment. We decided to pull her into the driveway area (which is dry) until she calves. We don't want to risk a newborn getting mired in the muck, or born in the woods.

Raven had no problems with getting out of that sludge!

You can see how -- ahem -- broad in the beam she is.

But the biggest indicator is her udder, which is bagging up. When that happens, birth usually happens within a week.

So Raven will stay in the driveway until her baby is born.

With inclement weather moving in and out, I like knowing she has maximum protection.

So for the moment, life is pretty good for Raven. She's dry, she can gorge on all the hay she wants, and she has a little calf to look forward to. Doesn't it look like she's smiling?


  1. The last of our lambs were born on Thursday, and all are doing well. I have one in the house, being hand raised after his mama rejected him, and not in a kind way. She head butted the little fella and then later on did it again, only that time she sent him tumbling half way across the pen. Poor little guy. Fortunately he wasn't injured, but he was understandably shaken up. He'd been with her all day, though, so he got his needed colostrum and is off to a great start.
    Turns out he was born with his teeth all in and very sharp, so I guess that was the problem. His twin is still with their mama, but this one can't safely be left with her.
    It's a lot of work, milking twice a day and washing what feels like forty or fifty but it's well worth it. And he's a delightful, smart little guy. The kitties and our old dog just love him.
    It's actually a blessing in disguise, since he'll be tame and make an excellent lead whether for a grazing flock.

    He looks a lot like this, but smaller, and we don't tag their ears. ( I hope the link works OK. )

    A. McSp

  2. We had a mud problem like that outside our milking barn. My daughter and I decided to top it off with an old roll of hay. We forked the hay loose, and stomped it into the mud. It worked amazingly well. The cows are happy again and actually stay on top of the mud and don't carry it all into the milking room! The hardest part was keeping our boots on! ;-)

    1. I just did the same thing at the barn corral so the two horses would have footing other than the mud whenever we moved them from the pasture pens.
      Mud is good. I've seen too many dry springs during the drought years in Wyoming.

  3. I absolutely love reading about the cows. It really makes my day. Between you and Frank and Fern with the goats I am learning a lot.

  4. Wow. That is deep.

  5. Don't you need to drain that feedlot? I know nothing about farm animals etc but that can t be healthy.

  6. Have you seen a feedlot, they have a hump in the middle of pin and the pin is slope away from the bunks. Might be something to think about for next year. The hump is for the cattle to get out of the mud. Oh and they have a pad next to the bunk to keep the cattle out of mud as they eat.