When it’s time for a cow to calve they’ll often pull away from the herd & go off by themselves to give birth. So when we’re out standing in the middle of the herd doing a head count and one’s missing we have to wonder – is it just one of the smaller calves? Maybe it’s a cow laying just around the corner? Or is it the cow we’re watching and waiting to calve?
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We’ve found an easy way to keep tabs on individual cows. While these particular animals were in the chute for working we used a *Weather-Resistant Livestock Marker & marked the last 2 numbers of their ID ear tags on either side of their rump and up at their shoulders too. We marked the pending new mama cows in bright yellow, and the ones we drew blood from to send off to PG test we marked in bright pink.
Now if we’re missing a cow we can quickly locate the few that are awaiting calving to see if one of them is missing. And if the bull is following a cow we can tell at a distance if it’s one we tested that came back open (or even if their results came back bred) Those notes are then transferred to our cattle records so we’ll have a better idea of when to expect their calving.
We like to work smarter, not harder!