Get the latest news from the Blum family as Amy Blum gives us an inside look at how they prep their cows for the summer months!
Springing Into Summer
Summer days at the Blum Ranch often mean long days!
Our cows calve on grass pastures in April and May, so we spend the last week of May and early days ofJune getting the herd ready for summer pastures. The “getting ready” includes many steps. Our top priority in it all though is making sure the cows and calves stay healthy.
To do that, we visually assess each cow and calf. Think of it like annual physicals and well-child visits for humans!
Given our herd size, we keep cows sorted in smaller groups by age. This makes the workload more manageable for our family, but it also ensures each pair receives the attention they need.
Here’s The Process
Cows in a group get looked at first. Every female receives at least two vaccines to help protect against pinkeye and anthrax; cows are also treated with a liquid pour-on to prevent worms, grubs, flies, lice, and mites.
Any cow with an issue, like a sore foot or bad eye, is treated with an antibiotic. If she needs extra attention, she’ll be sorted off from the herd and held back in a sick yard.
We take care to move each calf quickly but safely through a similar assessment process. To do this, we use a tipping table. Each calf is securely held on the table and receives vaccinations against respiratory illnesses and pinkeye.
Calves also receive a fly tag and our ranch brand, which helps ensure simple identification if they happen to sneak through a fence or lose an ear tag.
At this point, female calves called heifers return to their waiting mothers. We do not raise or sell breeding stock, so male calves called bulls are castrated with a knife to become steers. Then, they also return to their mothers.
We monitor the group closely for the first 48 hours. Then, they are ready for the bigger summer pastures!
That’s Not All!
All the cattle work happens in tandem with our crop work.
The oats, corn, and milo are all planted. We’ll continue planting some forages and wildlife food plots over the next couple weeks.
In the meantime, we’re praying for rain! Without it, our pastures and fields won’t produce the grass or crops needed to feed our cattle both this summer and through next spring.