Our Journey as Producers of Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle.

May Long Week-end: Bulls Out, Boots Up.

May Long Week-end:  Bulls Out, Boots Up.

As I discussed last year, the May Victoria Day Week-End has always meant fencing in preparation for putting the cows to grass.   Now that we are in Alberta, the grass isn’t quite ready (and from the picture, it may be a week or two yet), but that ‘extra’ work day is still spent fencing, getting heat on the hot wire, and taking care of a couple of trees that (of course) fell across the fence this winter.

‘May Long’ also marks the end of AI season, as the herd bulls are turned out and our feet go up – ‘active’ management of our cow herd turns to ‘passive’ management.   Since AI has directly followed a busy calving season, it is nice to be able to relax a bit and just watch them work until fall.  We still keep an eye on them to get dates for the cows that are still not bred, and there is the odd day spent dehorning and vaccinating but, for the most part, the intensive part of the year is finished.  As we are purely a grass farm, there are also no crops to worry about putting in.  Although there are still a lot of jobs on the to-do list, it is just nice to be back working on our own schedule, instead of being tied to the biological or reproductive clock of our cows.

We are really pleased with the success of our AI program, and how next years’ calf crop is shaping up.  It appears as if we have pregnancies to eight different AI sires, in addition to our two walking bulls.  I think AI can really improve the genetic diversity of the herd, and it will be very interesting to see calves from so many sires.  We are also very excited to see what our two new walking bulls produce.  They are both yearlings, but got things ‘figured out’ on a couple of introductory ‘dates’, so we are confident they will go right to work.  We plan on sharing more about our two young bulls in the next few days as we get pictures of them in pasture condition.

In the mean time, we’ll enjoy taking a break during the sunny days of a gorgeous long week-end.  The only decision is which group of cows we would like to watch, which dictates where to sit – Escalade’s group is at the back of the house, while Samson has his girls in the front field.  After some difficult decisions during AI season, it is nice to have a choice where you win either way.

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