7/9/11

Shopping online for baby-daddies

Momma
A few months ago, we did the math on our two cows and decided that July would be the perfect time to breed them for the ideal spring baby. In the past, we trucked Momma cow up to her birthplace and allowed her to mingle with the boys for a few months, and low and behold, she would come home pregnant. This year, since we almost have a "herd" of cows, we decided to look into Artificial Insemination.  

Daisy
I'm a relentless internet researcher. My hubby thinks I need a 12 step program for it. I admit, I can get a little compulsive about researching a topic, be it finding a fridge on craigslist or hunting down zoning codes for our property rights debate with the Town, but for me, opening the google IV and letting loose the stream of information straight into my veins quells my deep-seated fear of being underprepared. So, it's a character defect that I'm working on. In any case, it was with this same manic sense of anticipation that I delved into the world of breeding cattle. After learning the process of injecting the cows with Lutalyse to synchronize cycles, and how to recognize the resulting signs of estrus, it was time to research the final step of the process...semen.

I must say that it was with a fair bit of apprehension that I typed such a word into the google search bar, as I half expected  tens of thousands of pop-up windows to appear containing sweaty undulating man flesh in it's various seedy forms, but thank the good Lord, my fears were not realized. To my great surprise, bull semen is relatively easy to shop for online. I plugged away learning how to read an EPD Production data chart, and prioritized which feature was most important to our family.

For us, it's all about docility, which is directly related to ease of calving, as it turns out, and also affects tenderness...I guess that all makes sense. Mellow animals are that way from the womb, and remain so until butcher day when they are found soft, supple and tender. And that's the way we like them. Next on the priority list was small calves that are quick gainers. Momma cow is a veteran calver, but Daisy is still a rookie. And since we're also amateurs, we'd rather cut our risk exposure and give the girls the very best chance at a safe and easy calving experience that requires minimal intervention from us. So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to our girls new...uh...partners.


The first is Momma's new fella, black Angus bull, Stenberg Coalition 509. Known for his extremely docile temperament, easy calving, and low birth weight calves that gain at incredible rates to be top performers across the board. The notes claim that he's perfect for a herd on a grass program...which is what we're all about.

Daisy and Oreo
The next one was trickier. Daisy is a Hereford, but the hubby wanted wanted to breed her to an Angus for their bigger frames and excellent beef. Her current calf, Oreo is by a black Angus bull and she was a monster at birth. Daisy was so massive in her last weeks, in fact, that we were afraid she was going to have twins! So it's critical that Daisy get a boyfriend with proven track record of small babies that are easy to calf. Little Oreo is pretty cute with her black body and white face, but just for kicks, I searched the Red Angus bulls, because I like the idea of our girls' calves matching them. I came across this handsome fellow: LMG Gills Custer 1580 and I think he'll be perfect.


So now, we wait. Wait for the graduate student intern to call us and set up the time to come out and give the girls their Lutalyse shots, and then the semen order gets placed, and 3-5 days after the shots...conception! At least that's the plan. We will keep you posted on our progress.

1 comment:

  1. Coalition 509 is gorgeous! Be sure to show Momma cow his picture.:)

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