Monday, July 9, 2012

Family milk cow - Summer update

This is a continuing project to raise a family milk cow.  To see the first entry in the series, click here.  To see the previous entry, click here, to see the next entry click here.    

It's been a little over a month, and the little heifer isn't so little anymore.  The weight tape shows her at 630lbs, which means that she's gained 111lbs since the last entry.  The last entry was on May 23rd, 46 days ago.  So she's gained 111/46 or 2.4lbs a day, which is too fast a weight gain. 

What's been happening is that she's been getting into the pig feed, which she much prefers to the grass that we normally feed her, and it's been putting the weight on her.  I'm going to have to put a stop to that.  Her rumen doesn't look full -- it's that area below the backbone, on the left side, just ahead of the hip -- which means that she was probably eating feed today, instead of grass that would normally fill in that area.  Bad cow. 

Actually, the cow isn't to blame.  Bad me.  It's a husbandry issue.  Off to pasture she goes for a little slimming time.   She's about 30 days ahead of where she should be by weight. 

The pasture she'll be in is this one.  What we'll do is move the pigs out so that there's none of that tempting pig feed, just plenty of chest-deep grass.   I've been very pleased with the way this grass has grown out.   This pasture is the same one that I wrote about in this blog entry last september when i was working the ground just prior to seeding it.  It's lush and green now; I've grazed it twice already. 

1 comment:

becky3086 said...

Well she is looking good. Interesting that she should be too heavy as she doesn't look it. I guess that is why you measure and make sure. My chickens love to snatch up and pig feed the pig tosses towards their pen, I am not sure why since they won't eat chicken pellets when I buy those(just mash) but they will gobble up the hog pellets. Must be good but I'll leave the testing to the chickens and pigs.