On the ranch, The Purpose Driven Herd

Better than expected

Hay seekers,

    Well actually my cows are grass seekers but they have had to settle.

The best meal available

Creep feeding is part of preconditioning this year. To get our surviving 75 calves started on the path to independence, we put out 5 tons of creep in early July and it was gone in 5 weeks. That was about 3.8 pounds per day on the ration of 1/3 each oats, corn gluten pellets and cottonseed hulls. Putting out another half-batch to get us into the Sept. 8 weekend weaning date.

Cracks getting filled with dust

Cracks in the ground not getting wider because they are filling in with dust! It will be interesting to see what is merely dormant and can come back to life next spring. Cows are on prairie hay with occasional alfalfa or range cube treats. They come a runnin every time now, but seem disappointed when it’s only prairie.

Preweaning shots and individual weights this past weekend, starting one after-hours weekday that ran short of daylight by the time we returned calves to their mammas.

Sundowner work sometimes gets into dusk. Cows hurry to reclaim calves that have three more weeks to prepare for weaning.

A lot of dust all over, but cooler weather helps. Thirty top AI-sired heifer prospects looking good.

 Except for a few lingering cases of pinkeye from the incessant dust, calf health seemed good and weights were amazing under these conditions. This was two weeks earlier than last year, when 14 of 90 calves weighed more than 600 lb. We still had 9 of 75 in that category and 14 more that could be there in two weeks if they belly up to the creep feeder! It is heartening to see that a promising first-calf heifer from last year, 132, only managed a 325-lb. heifer then but came through with 525-lb. this time around. Old 85 will wean her last AI heifer this fall, but she looks like a good one, too.

It’s been a tough summer, and even a nice rain now can’t help this year’s forage. But it can sure make us feel better about next year.

Till next time, let’s keep targeting the brand and building tomorrow together,


blackinksteve Visit Website
A dreamer, lucky enough to see some come true. Rooted in these Kansas hills, I married schoolmate Anne, hunter, fisher, cook, mom, teacher and coach, fellow K-Stater. We make homemade wine and better Angus calves each year. Two daughters are grown now, the eldest in Ireland. Unique son a teacher, too; we’re legal guardians now. Introspective, I love words (pictures, too); trying to avoid groaners, but puns are intended. Obscure Reference Man who likes historical ballads. Well, most music except – pardon my gap – rap. Since 1998, Director of Industry Information for CAB; now Senior Editor, Producer Communications. And so help me, I care.
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