Big day for us!

Today is a huge day for Ryan & I! After a LONG time of working towards paying off our cattle, we have finally done it. We have paid off our 5 heifers. To many this may not be anything to be excited about, but for us it’s the start of our cattle herd & hopefully our livelihood. With any luck, each year these girls will help pay our bills by blessing us with strong healthy calves. We pray that someday we will have a respectable herd to pass on to Maverick and his future siblings.

The Girls

The whole process has been a crazy ordeal. From trying to register our brand with the state to being anxious about waiting for our first calves, every turn has presented a learning opportunity. In the beginning, Ryan sorted through huge numbers of heifers at the ranch to narrow it down to ones that would be the best foundation for our herd. After he had narrowed it down to 7 or 8, I went over to the ranch to choose the final 5. Once we had decided, they received green numbered ear tags with our brand on it in addition to the yellow tags claiming them as the ranch’s. Then came the process of trying to choose the best bulls to breed our heifers to. We had already planned on using artificial insemination to be able to have a wider selection of bulls available to us so it was just a matter of trying to pick one. Once they were A.I.ed they were also turned out with a bull so if any of them didn’t take the first time, he would still get them bred. After that was the waiting for the vet to preg check and confirm that all 5 were indeed pregnant. A heifer or cow that’s not pregnant(referred to as being ‘open’) is losing money. With only 5 heifers, even one being open could be a disaster when you are counting on those calves for a paycheck! There is so much to worry about in this occupation.

After paying off our cattle, we could finally go ahead and brand them as OURS! The branding iron came today, which meant of COURSE we had to go brand our girls! Here are some photos from today…

New Tags

Ryan trying out the new brand before branding the girls.

Waiting their turn in the chute

Branding

Branding

Lookin good!

Our heifer!

Now the only thing left to do is WAIT! Two of the girls were bagging up(their udders were filling up) which means that they should calve pretty soon. I am curious as to what color our calves will be seeing as though all 5 heifers were bred to a black Angus bull. Either way, we are praying that we end up with 5 healthy heifers & calves come spring! (If anyone is curious, we bred the girls to this bull – http://abs-bs.absglobal.com/beef/angus.asp?CodTouro=29AN1777)

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. G Whittaker
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 09:30:32

    So exciting for you! Is it typically beef cattle that are raised there?

    Reply

  2. Cowgirl Red
    Jan 14, 2012 @ 09:27:01

    Nicole, I’m so proud of you both. They look like good ones!!! Can’t wait to see their babies. xoxo Terah

    Reply

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