Late yesterday afternoon, my husband got a phone call from a good friend of ours who had to take his wife to Omaha to the Med Center for some tests. He wanted us to go check on his livestock and feed them also. We always help our neighbors out when they need a helping hand.
I got home from work and helped Troy finish our chores. This time of year we have lots of cattle to feed. Our cows graze cornstalks most of the winter, but eventually we run out of cornstalk acres for grazing. And the summer pastures aren’t ready for grazing yet. So our cows are fed a balanced ration of alfalfa and grass hay, distillers grains and a vitamin/trace mineral mix. In the morning, the pairs (the cows that have had babies) and the replacement heifers are fed. In the early evening hours, we feed the cows that haven’t calved yet. We feed them at this time of the day because research has shown that cows fed in the late afternoon or early evening hours have a better chance of calving during the daylight hours, rather at night. It’s not a fool proof deal, but it seems to cut back on the amount of nighttime calves born. If a cow is having trouble calving, it’s much easier to bring to her the barn during the daylight hours.
After making sure our cows and horses were taken care of, we gathered supplies to go check our friend’s animals. He was worried with the rainy weather he might have some sick calves, so we filled a cooler with medicine just in case we found a calf that needed doctored.
We drove through his pairs with a watchful eye making sure everything was healthy, which luckily all the calves were doing very well. By this time it was starting to get dark, cold and the rain was beginning to fall. As much as I wanted a hot shower, we still needed to feed his animals. I slopped around in the mud and opened and closed gates for Troy, as he was driving the tractor with the feed wagon. Together, we got the job done.
Troy helps several neighbors when they need help doing different tasks with their animals. He helped another neighbor pull a calf that was being born backwards today.
Farmers and ranchers are very generous individuals. They are always lending each other helping hand!