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!
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.
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.
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.