Busy time preparing for winter

Fall is a busy time on a ranch. We've weaned all the calves, vaccinated them and they are settled in and eating well. Soon they will be moved to a pasture that we save all the grass for the calves to eat in the winter. We've moved the cows to winter grass and are in preparation mode for calving. We are only 45 days from having our first calf.

Right now, my days are filled with record keeping, sending in weights and information about the calves born last spring to the American Angus Association for use in their data calculations, and feeding cattle. In Kansas, very little grass grows in the cold temperatures. There are a few varieties that can maintain a nutritious, healthy green color, but most grass is dead and dry and has very little nutrition in it. Like an athlete, a cow's nutrition is closely observed! If she is fed right, she can handle the cold Kansas winter temperatures, as easily as the 100 degree days in summer.  So we calculate her energy needs for various situations and feed her appropriately.

Fall is a time when she has relatively low energy requirements. She is pregnant and I need the calf to continue to grow and develop, without getting too big. But she is not nursing a full grown calf anymore, and she has no need to gain weight if she ended the summer in good condition. More important is clean water in the fall.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a new Flip Ultra HD video camera as a prize for being a finalist for the Ag Woman of the Year. I had to make a 3-minute video of myself advocating...but first, I had to play with it! Here is my first video: I took it while I waited for the water tank to fill in one of our winter grass locations.

So you might not think a cow drinking water is very exciting...and I guess it is not. But the camera is really fun and the cow is really pretty! She's enjoying the cold drink and I enjoyed watching her play in the water...and since it is my first video with the Flip, you get to see it too!

I can't end a blog post during this time without encouraging you to vote for me for the AG CONNECT Ag Woman of the Year! So click on the link and check out my video and, if you are so inclined, cast a vote (or 50 a day) for me!

Thanks for your support; I hope you are enjoying preparing for winter as much as I am!

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