September 22, 2019
September is a good month for new births, as it’s usually warm and dry. This September has been warm and wet, continuing a two year trend.
We farrow most months of the year, except for the coldest weeks in winter. Calving works great in September and October, calves wintering on the cow, and weaned onto the lush spring pastures. It also helps that I can borrow a breeding bull from my parents, who practice spring calving.
Photo credits to my sister, Rebecca. I like the perspective she captured in the top photo. In the photo below, the two day old calf hiding in the weeds almost looks like we’ve adorned him with some type of holiday flowers.
December 27, 2014
I’ve often thought we need to expand our color vocabulary in the livestock world. Each of the animals in this photo is red, except maybe the lone piglet which I would non-creatively call tan and white. The breeds in this photo are predominantly Red Angus for the cattle, and Duroc for the swine. Each of these breeds can vary from tan to dark red. But we cattle and swine farmers just stick to “red” when describing all of them.
Horse people are a little more creative: Chestnut, which includes Liver, Sorrel, and Blond; Bay, which includes Dark Bay, Blood Bay, and Brown; Champagne; and others I’m sure. But I’ve always considered Horse people crazy, surpassed only by Dog people.
But writing this has made me realize I’m probably missing out on a marketing opportunity by not creatively describing my animals. Some Shorthorn breeders have done this by crossing Red Angus with Shorthorn and marketing the resulting crossbred bull as a Durham Red. When I used to sell a lot of boars, I sold two crossbred lines called the Oak Grove Red and Oak Grove Blue. That worked really well for me as farmers would alternate Red and Blue boars annually, and it was easy for them to remember.
So I’ve thought myself into a circle. Livestock farmers, we need more colors for our livestock. Horse people, I still think you are crazy, but you are right on the money describing the color of your horses!