Today was a warm and sunny day with a bit of wind blowing in from the south. Perfect weather to for the goatie girls to start kidding and that is exactly what they did. :)
Mike was out hauling hay and I was working with Tatiana. We have to lift her 2-3 times a day with the tractor using hip lifts in order for her to stand and try to get the muscles stronger in her legs. She is able to move both of her legs which is good, but she can't yet stand on her own. She is eating and drinking well and continues to move herself around. Tatiana is a real trooper and such a sweet cow.
I was down in the pen with Tatiana when I heard one of the goatie girls yell. I knew we were having babies. Lonesome was due 2/22 and Patty was due 2/24, so I expected it to be one of those girls. Of course I was wrong. When I got to the girls, I saw it was Penny that was in labor. Hmmm... Penny wasn't due until the 27th! These girls just don't seem to understand my plans... LOL I could already see a bubble with two feet. As she pushed a nose appeared... another push and we had a new baby. He was coughing and crying and ready to eat!. a very healthy and handsome young buckling. Of course my camera was no where around. Up to the house to get the camera.
About the time I got back down to the barn, I heard another short yell. I came around the corner and saw a second bubble appearing. Just about that fast we had a second buckling born. This is good... no one is needing any help from me. I like that! Got the boys dry, cleaned up, sprayed their little hooves and navel cords with iodine. Gave them a small dose of Bose and made sure they got their colostrum. A perfect and easy kidding! I wish they all went like that.
The afternoon was spent hauling hay, doing chores and catching up with my cousin Mike. As we were visiting the goats, I noticed that Ms. Patty had a long string of mucus and sure enough, she was in labor. Without much trouble at all, she presented us with yet another good looking, healthy buckling, She got him cleaned up and nursing before she went back to work and gave us our 4th buckling of the day! All fine looking, strapping young bucklings and of course two very proud mommas. We shall see what tomorrow brings...
Good news first. :) Mike traveled to Antlers, Oklahoma last Sunday to pick up the rest of our Murray Grey heifers. Thanks Larry and Ron! Everyone made it home safe and sound. The new girls have settled down and today we turned them out in the big pasture. Cows are so funny to watch. :) They ran, jumped, bucked, and played as hard as they could and then ran straight back to the lot and wanted in. Dolly, the Guernsey milk cow, was right there with them all...bucking and kicking like a youngster - NOT the very pregnant cow that she is! LOL We enjoyed their antics for quite some time before they decided to settle down and graze. It looks like they will all be fine and they seem happy with their new home. I will try to get pictures of them all posted this weekend.
Well, the bad news... One of our new MG girls from the first trip, Tatiana, went into labor this morning. Although she tried valiantly, she was unable to deliver the calf herself. Mike stepped in to help her, but he ended up having to take her to the vet. Tatiana was in a lot of trouble. It took four of us working with her another hour and a half to get the calf pulled. The vet said the calf weighed about 110 lbs.…much, much too big for a heifer as small as she is.
We were greatly surprised as MG's normally have easy births and are known for their low birth weight calves. At this time she is unable to stand. We are hoping that she will recover and that her legs are just paralyzed from the trauma of such a hard birthing. Tatiana is such a trooper. She is trying to get up, and is eating and drinking now that we have her home. We are hoping that she makes a full recovery and in time will have more little ones that will race across the pastures kicking and playing. Her friend Poppy is keeping her company, standing watch over her, licking and comforting Tatiana during this sad and stressful time. Animals never cease to amaze me with their compassion and understanding. They are a joy to my heart. :)
Check out our Murray Grey page and take a look at our new MG cattle. We are very
happy to have them home. We decided to focus on the Murray Grey breed a few
months ago and it has taken all this time to put the beginnings of our new herd
together. We believe that we have been able to put together a very nice set of
cattle with some great bloodlines!
Many thanks to the folks that sold us these fine animals... Mike from Springer Farms in Arkansas, Leslie and Kevin of Solitude Farm and Ranch in Texas, Larry and Ron of Oklahoma. We hope to do you all proud!
Murray Greys are one of the best kept secrets in the cattle world. They have a very mild, gentle disposition, making them easy to handle. Murray Greys are the second largest beef breed in Australia and the fastest growing beef breed in the United States. Here are some interesting facts about Murray Grey cattle:
- They are easy calving cattle. Most are born between 60 and 80 pounds. They have short labors, and it's common for the calves to be on their feet and nursing within
thirty minutes of birth.
- Cattle have great longevity, it is common for cows to raise a good calf every year for up to 15 years or more.
- Their milk tends to have more quality instead of just quantity.
- They are known all over the world for their excellent marbling and high yield. They grade choice or prime, have a 12% larger rib eye and less back fat than most other
breeds, and they are one of the two breeds most desired in Japan and Korea.
- They are highly efficient cattle with rapid growth and excellent food conversion. Steers finish in half the time and on half the food over most other breeds. Mature animals will eat up to 1/3 less food over many other breeds while still maintaining
- Mature bulls weigh about 2000 pounds. Mature cows weigh from 1100 to 1350 pounds. A typical steer
when ready for slaughter will weigh about 1150 to 1300 pounds. They will be
ready several weeks earlier than most other breeds on less feed per day.
Russell Ranch is located in beautiful NE Oklahoma, just a few miles from the Illinois river in Green Country. There are lovely rolling hills, lots of wonderful lakes and rivers, and forests full of wildlife.