Calving Capers Episode 1

During these somewhat routine days before calving starts, a flurry of activity goes on behind the scenes for me. This week has been focussed on completing all the farm
books recording in order to send off to the accountant to compile our 2015 tax returns. It is in order too, I practically do all the work for them but in return they keep their charges down. I prefer that they do the last tweaking anyway.

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Along with record-keeping is nailing down all our inventory numbers for year end purposes. So many outside parties need that particular set of information from us. Our government, our banker, our accountant and of course ourselves. It was quite exciting this year to see that my efforts paid off. I reconciled every calf right down to the last head. Small victories create much satisfied excitement for this rancher girl!

So as we approach the busy weeks ahead I’ll take the time to feature my cast of characters in the drama about to unfold. This week meet 12B, otherwise known as Goldilicks.

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I named her so in her early days after weaning. She had lost her pretty pink calf tag so we no longer could recall who her mother was. But what made her unique was her willingness to come up to any of us and readily lick our gloves, no matter if we were in the corral or out in the pasture. She is a lighter red in colour, almost goldish under the noonday sun so what better name than Goldilicks?

After a summer of frolicking in our north pasture with her sisters and a couple of fellas (the bulls) she is now an almost-grown-up cow….rather, a bred heifer. She is carrying her very first calf and you can bet I will be keeping a watchful eye over her as she nears her calving date and commences her life as a productive mother cow.

She earned the coveted number 12 (one of Flicka Rancher’s favorite numbers) to go along with the B which represents her year of birth. Most of the letters of the alphabet are used in the cattle industry to identify the year of birth. For example, breeding stock (heifers and bulls) born in 2013 are A, 2014 (like Goldilicks) are B, the animals we had and kept from last year in 2015 will earn a C tag and so on.

Just think, next time you’re walking by a field or pasture with grazing cows, check out their tags … you’ll be able to amaze your friends by informing them almost exactly the age of those animals just by the letter in their ear tag.

Calving Capers continues next week!

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