Episode 4 Farm Video

Around the Farm in 6 second clips

torrential rains, putting up fans in cattle show barn, moving a bull in with cows, newborn calf in tall grass with cow, moving round bale feeder in mud, moving cow calf pairs to pasture, walking 4H steers, cow eating grass

Fertilizing the Pasture

Fertilizing Pastures

We are fertilizing pastures to help them grow before we put the cattle out on them. William is using FS’s new buggy to spread the the nitrogen. Last year’s drought really took a toll on the pastures. So we are feeding them now before it rains. The rain will help work it into the soil to make it available for the grass roots.


How a uterus is like a sock

vet & prolapse cowAnother first for the Graff livestock experience: Ellyon ,who won Champion Performance Cow at the state fair, educated us about prolapsed uteri. Monday afternoon she pushed her uterus out after having her bull calf. We thought her calving days had ended. But Dr. Jay says she should be just fine having another calf. He was surprised we hadn’t had this before. (just our lucky year)

fixing prolapse

 

All the guys helped put the uterus back where it belonged. It’s a slow process putting it back through the small opening; but with everyone there to help it went fairly quickly. The vet says it’s like turning a sock right-side out inside the cow. So they all took turns pushing and shoving it back into place. Then Dr. Jay gave it a couple of stitches on the back end to keep it there. They are to be removed in a couple of weeks.

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Bella had classes while Ellyon was fixed up. When she returned home, Bella was happy to hear she wasn’t losing another good cow.

We’re All Certified

Theo was the last one of us to get his Artificial Insemination certificate. It has really saved us on from paying someone to come out to AI. And we can synchronizeAI certificate the cows for times that are convenient for us.

Going through the class, he learned about a cow’s reproductive physiology and handling all the AI equipment. Then Theo also had to practice placing the AI syringe through cows’ cervixes.

Breeding Cows

The five of us went over to the new barn (we call it Sand Bur Hill) to artificial inseminate a bunch of cows. Luckily the weather was nice. The mud was frozen; but no wind. Well Z did all the AIing. The rest of us were the support team; bringing the cows to the chute, loading the AI gun, holding tails.

breeding cows

I had the bright idea of giving the cows treats so they wouldn’t fight going in the chute so much. But none of the cows cared for the ones I bought. They all ate steer feed in a feed pan. So much for that.

Since the ground was frozen we put in a bunch of silage. When the ground started to get sloppy we stopped. Hopefully tomorrow morning it will be solid enough to fill the big silage wagon.

Afterwards William and I went to our insurance agent to put the new barn and trailer on our policy. Bill kinda threw the guy for a loop about asking for insurance on the semen tanks. He proceeded to tell the agent about the price of semen and embryos, process of collecting semen and super ovulating, ect. The agent said we had a whole language of our own and lived in a different world.

We invited him to the barn for the second round of AIing but he had meetings to go to. But really wanted to come out sometime to witness everything. He had to get back to us on insuring the tanks.

Hey, just added the sign-up for updates to our site. very easy to do.


Morton Building Interviews William

Bill is interviewed on our new cattle barn for Morton Building promotions. This video shows off the barn. And Bill does a great job of selling Morton Buildings. The buckets give it the lived-in look.

February Farm in Photos

Farm photo slide show of the major events.

Twisted Uterus Brings Down a Cow

Tempest

Tempest afternoon of c-section

I started this timeline to track all of the events that were happening to our cow, Tempest. I fully expected her to survive and be put back with the herd. But that is not how it turned out. Tempest died exactly one week after we found her down. At first I wasn’t going to post this to the blog. On my facebook page, Lorinda asked me to post the information to help others recognize the problem in their own cows. The vet said he sees this maybe once a year. We should only see it once a life time. Hope he is right. We are very blessed to have multiple excellent vets in our area.

Friday: notice Tempest not feeling well (lying in an odd location with her head held high); decide to take to vet on Monday
Saturday: looking in on her, chewing cud looked okay

Sunday morning: Tempest found down in mud couldn’t get up. Pulled her out of the lot. Made a pen of gates around her with straw. Called the vet.
Sunday afternoon: vet not sure what is wrong. checked the size of calf. gave her IV. induced labor to save calf. Slim to no chance given to survive the night. propped her upright with hay bales. check on her every half hour
Sunday night: midnight found her standing; drank and ate hay.

Monday
morning: nice weather kept her outside
noon: put her in a calving pen in the shed before storm; ate and drank
afternoon: noticeable contractions
night: calf not coming down birth canal

Tuesday
5am: Tempest down again on her side. still no calf in birth canal. not looking good. Call vet
6:30: vets do a c-section. discover the placenta turned blocking circulation and the calf; calf didn’t make it; sewed her back up; more IV; propped her upright with hay bales
9am: drank two buckets of water
10:30: standing up; clean her pen; drinks more water
noon: found on side, straining; propped her upright with bales again. keeping in contact with vet. need to keep her drinking water
3pm: standing but still need to prop while lying down. drank some water
6pm: gave her more water but not looking good
night: checked on her through the night

Wednesday
5:am no change not eating or drinking
noon: vet gives more IV’s
1pm: drinks and eats oats and beet pulp
3pm: roll her to her other side; discover two layers of stitching from c-section are tore open. call vet
4pm: vet sews Tempest back up
6pm: Tempest stands for a short while but lays on her stitches side
8pm: install a wireless camera to watch her from the house

Thursday
6:am Not much change. Tempest won’t eat or drink. tube water into her.
10:am run to vet to get electrolytes to add to her water
afternoon: no significant change, decide not to roll her on her other side
night: barn camera comes in handy to make sure Tempest is lying upright while snow storm hits; still not eating

Friday
6:am pumped water with electrolytes to Tempest; not eating; condition the same
evening: no change; manually moving her back legs for her for circulation

Saturday
6:am no change; work her legs for her and offer her water but doesn’t drink
evening: roll her to her other side & work her back legs again. doesn’t drink

Sunday
morning: didn’t make it through the night, buried her out in the field

Tempest was such a sweet, gentle natured cow. She will be missed.

washing Tempest

Theo washing Tempest during her summer showing season

at Simmental Regionals

Showing Tempest at Simmental Jr. Regionals in Wausau, WI

 

 

Farm Photos January

Pictures on the farm during the month of January.

One Winter Farm Job

Keeping the cattle fed is one continuous job here at Graff Land & Livestock. This year it includes putting in silage.

silage bag

We use our small loader tractor to scoop the silage out of the 300 foot bag.

silage feeder

Then we fill up the feeders. This is a portable hay feeder that we modified to use for silage. There are no wind breaks up yet. So in the winter this can be a very chilly job.

small silage feeder

There are also smaller feeders around that we fill with the bucket or loadl the bed of our white truck then haul to feeders that are further away.

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We fill the feeders every three days. We also put out large round bales of hay in case the ground is too muddy to put the silage in. So far that has not happened much. We haven’t had many rain days and the ground has been frozen most of the time.

cows eating silage

The cows prefer the silage over hay bales. Silage is the whole pant chopped up and bagged. Because of the drought there isn’t much corn in this. But they nose and dig to find each kernel.