We decided to use the Quietwean nose tags on a few calves this year who didn’t get weaned with the big group . The Quietwean nose tags are designed in fit into the calf’s nose so that the calf can adjust to not nursing while staying with it’s mother. The calf is still able to graze and/or eat hay.
We put the Quietwean nose tag in each calf when they were in the cattle squeeze and then turned them back out with their mothers. The nose tags were very quick and easy to put in.
As you can see from the photograph below, the calf is now unable to nurse.
4 days later, we put the calves back through the cattle squeeze to remove the Quietwean nose tags and we separated the calves by a fence from their mothers.
Both the calves and the cows seem calmer and more content tonight, which in turn, means less weight loss for both and hopefully less sickness.
If we are happy with the success of using the Quietwean nose tags, we are hoping to use them next fall on all of our replacement heifers and bull calves. We usually put our calves through the squeeze to vaccinate them prior to weaning; therefore, it would only involve one extra trip through the squeeze in order to remove the nose tag.
We will monitor the calves over the next couple days, but from what we can tell so far, we will be using the Quietwean nose tags again next year!
If you are interested, you can read more about the Quietwean nose flaps at www.quietwean.com.
Fall is another busy time on the ranch. Towards the end of September, we bring all the cows and calves home from our summer pastures and weigh each calf.
The weights are important for our ranch records so that we know what each cow produces. We then pick out our replacement heifers, which are the heifer calves that we plan to keep in our herd and breed next summer. At our ranch, we strive to have a uniform group of calves to sell so we also pick out any calves that are too small, usually under 500 lbs. These calves are kept over the winter and put out on pasture for the summer and then marketed next fall as beef. Once the calves are weighed, they are turned back with their mothers until we sell them.
We always enjoying seeing the cattle on the hayfields around our home during the fall.
After we sell our group of calves at B.C. Livestock Producers Co-op in the beginning of October, we then wean any of the calves that are being kept over the winter. This includes the replacement heifer calves, bull calves and the small calves. We first sort the cows from calves and then vaccinate each calf. I will write a post later to provide further information about our vaccination program. We walk through the calves twice a day to ensure that they stay healthy. If necessary, we will medicate any calves that show signs of being sick, such as a runny nose, cough or loose manure.
Welcome to our blog. We plan to explain the daily tasks on a beef cattle ranch in the interior of British Columbia. One of our favourite things about ranching is that each and every day is different and more often than not, you do not know what your day will entail. You may wake up expecting to do one task and the weather may change your plans completely. Sometimes animals get out of their pastures, other times the tractor quits and needs repairing.
As a rancher, we must be able to do a wide variety of tasks, anything from repairing fences, marketing our cattle and vaccinating. We hope that this blog will give you a glimpse into ranch life. We will do our best to keep the posts short with lots of photos. Please feel free to ask questions or provide suggestions for topics.