Today we are taking one group of around 300 cow/calf pairs and sorting them off.
Once the calves are separated from the cows, we will “process” them – where we weigh each individual calf, vaccinate them, treat them for internal and external parasites (like worms or lice), and sort them into heifer or steer pens.
Weaning is the one time of year that we expect the cattle to be loud. They are unhappy about being separated, and cattle vocalizing is a sign of stress. We avoid stress on our cattle as much as possible, as stress causes illness. That being said, we have learned a lot over the years about how to make this process easier for them.
You will hear in the video that the calves are actually quite quiet. The cows are unhappy, and showing it, but the calves seem quite content. A big part of this is the fact that we wean as late in the year as possible. Most of the cows have long since stopped milking, the calves diets will not have a significant change with weaning.
Looks like the guys are almost finished the hard work, the sorting. Now it’s my turn to get my hands dirty and help set these calves up for healthy, productive lives that will help nourish not only our family, but yours as well.