Welcome to Moosters Meadows - home of Irish Dexter Cattle! We strive to breed a truly dual purpose Dexter, providing both excellent beef and milk. All of our Dexters are purebred and registered with the American Dexter Cattle Association (ADCA). We'll be blogging about what goes on here on our little ranch in Wyoming and life with Dexters. Feel free to visit our website as well.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Poor Little Calf Who Had Lost Her Way....

Much like last year's calving season, this year started out with another splash down in the creek.  Unlike last year, I wasn't there to see it.  And, unlike last year, I didn't think that Jasmine was even remotely close to calving.  We check the girls every day as we head into the weeks leading up to calving.  No clue that Jasmine was going to deliver a calf the next morning.  Her bag was a little fuller, but then so are several of the other girls and we know they aren't due for at least another week or two.  No swelling or floppy back end that would have set our "imminent birth" alarm going.

So, I'm making coffee and thinking that Jazzy is scratching on the trees because I can see her moving up and back from the creek amongst the fallen tree trunks.  Apparently what I was watching was her trying to figure out how the get her calf out of the water at the edge of the creek.  Commenting to Chris that she was acting unusual, I picked up the binoculars just as Chris said "she has a calf!" 

It was a bitterly cold morning with strong winds.....  Baby is submerged up to her shoulders in the water and barely moving.  Jazz was amazing - she didn't attack as we lifted baby from the water, put her in the ATV and headed for the house.  We tried drying her out with the hairdryer, fluffing her with towels and blankets and still couldn't get her to stop shivering.  We couldn't get her dry either. 

The big ranch next door didn't have the calf warmer locally (we'd borrowed it once before), so we figured a hot bath was the only other way to get her warm - not dry - just warm.   In we go -- complete with audience!


Chris headed to town to buy a calf warmer while little miss and I turned into very warm prunes.  We were able to get a warm bottle of colostrum into her and by the time Chris got back, she'd quit shivering and seemed to gain more strength.

At this point, we were just hopeful that we were doing all the right stuff.  She was just too adorable to lose.

Into the new calf warmer parked in the living room where she got warm, dry and very strong!  She got a shot of LA200, her navel was painted with iodine, then she got rubbed all over with nasty placenta (so she would smell right).  Back to mom by mid-afternoon.

The meeting was successful.  Momma Jasmine licked her and recognized her, but wouldn't let her eat.  She moved away every time little miss tried.  We left them to bond, but the wind and cold got the best of our new little girl again.  By the time we went back out to get her, her mouth was cold, she was shivering again and mom had lost interest in her.  Back to the warmer and another warm bottle.  We decided to keep her in overnight and feed her a few more times in anticipation of a better day in the morning.
This morning, a totally different heifer greeted me in the laundry room.  She was up, mooing at me and ready to go! 

Today was a better day!  We moved Jazzy into the stalls, put down lots of fluffy bedding and brought a very fiesty little girl back out to meet her mom.  Our hope was that they'd have to bond because they were in such tight quarters.  No worries.  Miss fiesty girl went right to work (after doing the cutest happy dance I've ever seen!).  They are happily mother and daughter tonight. 

Meet High Pines Acqua Di - the daugher of Jasmine and Glenn Land Mr. Toney.  She's polled, red and sassy!  And darn lucky to be here today.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Time Flies

Whoa!  Hadn't really realized how long it's been since I'd posted anything here.  In the winter, it seems like most of the days are the same.  Outside it's generally overcast and dreary, so pictures are dull too.  But I'll try --

We did spend quite a few hours moving all the girls in from the pasture and through the chute.  We lured them into the corrals with a tractor load of alfalfa.  No complaints!   Preg testing for the fall calvers.  Treated the herd for lice since everyone is itchy and rubbing against anything they can find.  Gave all of the girls a thorough once over mid-winter.  And lo and behold, we (they) have ringworm too.  Yippee.  So, they all got those spots treated with betadyne.  We really need warmth and sunshine - the very best ringworm cure. 
Ray Ray was not thrilled about her blood draw or her pour on or the betadyne sprayed on her neck.  She's most certainly wishing for spring to get here!
That's Queenie in the feeder.  We weaned her a few days ago.  She doesn't seem to miss mom much, but she's sure not in any hurry to leave the feeder when it's time to load it with more hay.  It took both of us to shoo her out of the ring so Chris could load more for her to eat (and apparently sleep in). 
The almost yearlings are trying to teach our two weanlings how to eat.

Queenie is curious, but not ready to walk over and stick her head in the feeder.  She'll be our best friend forever once she gets a taste (which is all they get anyway...)!

Spring and calves should be arriving soon!  Can't wait!