Category Archives: calves

Little dun bull calf – 5 weeks old

Here’s a few photos of the dun bull calf that I took this morning. He’s looking good. Healthy, running around and enjoying life. We are considering keeping him and selling his dam after he is weaned at around 6 months old. I will be looking for a Dexter cow that enjoys people and is easy to milk.

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New Dexter bull calf

Twila had her bull calf on June 20, a nice looking dun bull calf. He is by Blue Creek Elliott, who is now in Parachute, CO.

New calf at the Singing Bull Ranch

After much anticipation, Twila finally had her calf. It’s a very beautiful red/fawn colored heifer. She’s big too, and looks well built with a pretty face. Her sire is the Jersey bull, Reno, that we have for someone else. Looking forward to seeing her grow up! She’s very likely going to stay here and learn to be a milk cow.

Which is what her momma is here for. I’m going to attempt to  milk her so that we have fresh milk, butter, etc. Should be an interesting experience!

Two new calves

Kauai and her new little bull calf

Kauai and her new little bull calf

When we called “Uncle” David last Sunday as we boarded the cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, he told us that one of our cows had calved earlier that morning. Of course! She had to wait until we were gone before she would have her little calf. Maybe she feels guilty, as he doesn’t have a belt at all, just some white hairs on his belly. And he’s black. Our Belted Galloway, Kauai, is the mom, Elliott, our new red Dexter bull, is the dad. I was hoping that maybe they would have  a dun calf, as he has been proven to throw dun, but it’s not to be. Sigh…black is sooo boring!!

Olive Oyl and her new calf

Olive Oyl and her new calf

Today, as I was going to the other house to do laundry, I looked over at the paddock where the pregnant cows are and thought I saw a bit of white that didn’t belong to anything that we own. I had told Chris last night that both Olive Oyl and Little May where showing signs of being close to calving, so I was hoping that the little bit of white that I was seeing wasn’t a figment of my imagination. So I went back to the house to get my camera just in case, and walked out to the paddock to check the cows. Laying in front of Olive Oyl was a little black belted calf. Too cute! I’m glad we got another belted calf, although at the sale barn, they don’t know what to call them! LOL Looks like she hadn’t had him too long before I saw him, although he was dry. I think it’s a bull calf, but we’ll know for sure next weekend when we take the calves down to Robert Tracy’s place to brand. (Hopefully it will be a freeze brand as I really strongly dislike the hot iron!) He was still a bit unsure on his feet, but he looks healthy, and he was up and nursing while I watched them. I love little calves!

When Chris and David came over to check him out, Tucker was laying beside me. The little belted calf came over to check me out, and suddenly, Olive Oyl put her head down and charged the fence. Chris thought she was after me, but I didn’t move, as I knew she was after Tucker. Poor Tucker let out a sharp bark and jumped away from the fence. He was pretty shaken up by that! We figured they were getting a little too nervous with the three of us and the dogs hanging around, so we went back to the chores.

This year is not starting out very well for water. March, April and May were much hotter than normal, with temperatures easily in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s much of the time. Usually these months are cold and damp, with a lot of mud to deal with. The mountains are almost devoid of snow, which is very unusual. It looks and feels more like July than the middle of May. Pastures are already suffering, the grass just didn’t grow this spring, as it was too hot with no moisture. This is putting us in a position where we may be forced to sell of most of the mules and cows, as we don’t have any graze to speak of. I hate to sell the few cows we have left. I don’t mind selling a few of the mules, but I don’t want Junior to go. He’s the only mule that will literally run to greet you. I would really like to work with him, as he’s such a sweetheart. I don’t know how he’ll be to train, but I think if a person were to make the training fun, he would quickly be looking for what will happen next with a very good attitude.

Close-up of Tippy, four month old Dexter cross steer calf

Close-up of Tippy, four month old Dexter cross steer calf

On a happier note, here’s a picture of one of the little twin calves that were born back in February. This is Tippy, the little steer calf. He got really curious about me and the camera when I was taking pictures of Olive Oyl’s calf. I could have reached out and touched him he was so close!

For other news happening at Singing Bull Ranch, check out http://hellomynameisemmaleeandimaratterrier.wordpress.com/. EmmaLee is the proud mom of 3 little boys. Very handsome little boys I might add! (Nope, I’m not prejudice! LOL)

Twin calves update

heifer calf

heifer calf

Our twins are now three days old, and getting stronger every day. It looks like the front leg on the little heifer has strengthened on its own, as it’s looking much straighter now and it’s not bending back like it had been a few days ago. I was about half freaked out when I saw her walking on it at first, as it looked severely incorrect, but thank goodness it wasn’t anything structurally wrong with her.

On Wednesday night, Chris was able to get home a little earlier and help me move the trio into a stall/run area. Chris picked up the calves and put them in the back of my truck, and we attempted to get Bally to follow. That was easier said than done, as she didn’t “see” them in the truck, even tho’ she smelled them, and saw them in there, once we started driving off, she would turn around to where she last saw them on the ground, so we’d back up, and start all over! After some patient maneuvering, we were able to get them in the stall. Before we put the bull calf in, we decided to weigh him. Since his sire is a Dexter bull, known for low birth weight, but rapid gain, we wanted to see how much he weighed. He weighs in at a whoppin’ 60 lbs. A bit on the smaller side for a calf, but by the time they’re weaned, they weigh in pretty close to the same size as a regular beef calf, such as Angus or Simmental.

I was able to get a few good snap shots of both of them today. Here’s most of them.

New twin calves!

As mentioned in an earlier post, I had pulled in four of our cows because they should be due to calf soon. Bally, the old bald face cow, was showing signs of getting ready to have a calf when I brought them in, and every day, we’d look out the window first thing to see if she’d had a calf yet. We were both getting a bit frustrated, as she was showing all the signs, but nothing was happening.

Bally and her 2011 calf, Rita.

Bally and her 2011 calf, Rita.

Until last night when I went to feed. There was a small bubble, very tiny, but definitely a sign of eminent birth! When Chris got home, I told him the good news. Since he was going to be out in the shop getting some things done, he said he would go check on her. Time crawled by, and eventually he made it out to go check. It was 10:00 pm, dark, and cold, and I was thinking of heading for bed as soon as I was done with my evening house chores. A few minutes after he left the house, my phone rang, and it was Chris telling me that I needed to get out there, she’d had twins! Naturally, I didn’t believe him as I figured he was just pulling my leg and wanted me out there. But I put on my coat and boots and found my way through the darkness to the fence line. When I got there, Chris shined a light on Bally, and yup, he was right, there were TWO calves! Wow! We no way expected twins!

The other cows were milling around Bally, getting her frustrated as she was trying to defend one calf, then the other one. I grabbed a bale of hay and took it into the paddock next to the pasture and called in the cows. All of them came running except for Charlotte, our youngest calf, who was stuck on the other side of the fence. I closed up the gates as Chris tossed some hay to Bally, and after checking her calves from a distance, we headed back in, planning on checking on her a bit later before we went to bed.

About an hour or so later, we went back out  to see how they were doing. We were concerned that both got some milk and if they were up and looking good. The second calf  still looked pretty wobbly, but the first one was all curled up napping. Chris was sure that both had gotten that first important drink of mom’s milk, so we went back in to get some sleep.  We were hoping that they were both heifers, but we couldn’t tell last night. If there are twins, and one is a bull calf, the heifer calf has about a 90% chance of being infertile. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemartin)

little bald faced heifer calf

Here's the little bald faced heifer calf.

This morning, Chris was checking the calves with the binoculars from the kitchen window when there was barely enough light to see anything. Later on, I checked on them as I fed the rest of the crew. I thought that maybe they were both heifers, but wasn’t certain. The little white faced calf was still seriously wobbly, and I noticed that the right front leg was bending backwards at the knee. Not a good thing, but it should be able to grow out of it,  hopefully. I took some photos and video (http://youtu.be/w-gGIJhPbTw ) and left them alone. (Had some stock dogs that wanted to get too close to the calves during this filming, hence the low yelling, growling from me!)

Little bull calf twin

Little bull calf twin

I called Chris to let him know that they were both still alive, but the one was pretty weak compared to the other. He had me call Robert Tracy, our ranch neighbor to the north. He told me that we really needed to get the cow and her twins into a smaller area so that she would bond strongly with them, and we could keep a better eye on them. He stated that twins really take a lot out of the mom, and that we should feed her grain.

When Chris got home, we drove out to the pasture where Bally and the two calves were, and Chris put the little ones in the back of the truck and we lured Bally to a stall with a run that we’re going to keep them in for awhile. The barn will help keep them protected from the weather, as the breeze was pretty cool off and on throughout the day. And Bally will enjoy the free grain that she’s getting. When we left them, they seemed all settled in.