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008 :: Friday on the Farm- Cow/Calf Barn

Happy Friday on the Farm!  It was the first SUNNY day in a while here in Central IL!  My intention was to do a HUGE introductory post of WINEINGER FARMS as a whole, but we've got 2 sick kiddos, end-of-the-month GLORY at the feed store & Tessa’s leaving on vacation (LUCKY!!!) and I have yet to pack her… You just get to see the cuter part of the farm….well beside the baby chicks.... BABY COWS!

CowCalf_WineingerFarms

Today, we went & fed cows with Nathan at Uncle Bubba’s (Josh’s) house.  There, we pasture & breed cows.  Can I give you a little mini cattle vocab?  I had to learn this VERY quickly to be taken seriously…

  • Cow = A female bovine that has had a baby(ies)
  • Bull = A male with all his man parts
  • Heifer = A female cow who has not had a calf
  • Steer = A castrated bull

SO… with that all said, at Josh’s house, we have about 20 COWS and their calves AND some breed cows (pregnant cows).  We (and by we, I mean Nathan or one of his brothers) feed them usually every day… the mamas get Purina Breeder Cubes & our calves are on a creep feed.  Creep feed is for baby calves who still nurse sometimes, but are transitioning to feed…It’s a SUPER small & palatable pellet, whereas the Breeder cubes the mamas get are about the size of a cheese puff, but look like an unbreakable dog bone….if that makes ANY sense at all.

EatingCows_WineingerFarms

Why do we breed these cows?  Well, just for the reason that you think…early on, we castrate the bulls and then, in a few weeks, we vaccinate all of the calves and prep our feed lot for the transfer of these cows to feed out & sell.  For the most, our focus in on the feed lot.  We mainly have these lovely ladies to keep our patures down.  I promise, we'll talk more about the feed lot later.  Our goal is to raise happy cows (just like in California 😊) so that we, in turn, get good quality meat.  The mama cows then start the cycle over again.  That’s just the ways of a beef cattle farm.  There’s always extra excitement when the calves are born or when we have a bottle calf (and then those involved start getting REALLY frustrated about feeding the calf all the time).  All in all, it is a process we enjoy as a family.  I didn’t grow up in this setting, so I get excited, and get even more pumped that this is a norm for the girls.

Ruthie is still SUPER under the weather…so she came out for some fresh air, but headed back to the van for a rest.  Tessa, on the other hand, was out in a jiffy, mud on her boots, Nathan’s phone in her hand, shooting videos.  That girl LOVES the cows.

TessaatBubbas_WineingerFarms

Joanna didn’t know what to think…she really hasn’t been around the cows yet much.  She was super tired, so I sat her back in her seat and she was OUT COLD by the time we left to go home.

Nathan was in his happy place.  “Smell that babe..[as he refers to cow sh*t]…it’s the smell of money!” And then I proceed to ROLL my eyes & yell at him to take his boots & pants off in the garage.  But watching him out there, just fills me up.  What can I do to make it possible for him to be out there everyday?

Well, now that you just received your mini lesson on a cow/calf operation… ha!  Have a FANTASTIC weekend!  Enjoy the sunshine.

NathanwithCows_WineingerFarms
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