…be completely not anything that is remotely normal in our case here at the farm.
It’s Baby Time out here at TexasNorth! My favorite time. Sweet little calves running and hopping around the pasture… getting lost, getting found, sleeping half the day and growing the rest. I love it.
IN GENERAL, the whole baby thing works itself out to be 50-50, ya know? Half girls, half boys. It’s pretty easy to keep track of cow pregnancy stuff… it’s very similar to human stuff. Females cycle every 21 days. The bull determines the gender. Gestation is 9 months and 2 weeks. I think we’ve talked about this before, but let me say again that breeders generally want more girls than boys. Girls have more babies. Boys… eat. The boys feed a lot of friends and family as super-lean beef, which is fantastic. But in order to expand and diversify the herd, it’s absolutely necessary to have girl calves. Heifers. If you don’t get heifers the natural way, the breeder has to pay cash for new mammas. That gets a little deep in the pockets, ya know?
In our 5 years of breeding with 8 different bulls, we’ve had 55 calves.
13 of them have been girls. THIRTEEN.
Y’all. That’s not even MATH. It’s wild. Six babies this year and so far… SIX BOYS. No one knows why. We’ve talked to MSU. We’ve randomly run into Animal Science PhDs with a focus on cattle breeding and talked their poor educated ear off in the grocery aisle. We’ve read the articles, and we’ve cataloged the wives’ tales… there is simply no explanation. There are as many experts as feet of fencing in this business… and they’ll all tell you something different. Watch your minerals. Put the bull in at the beginning of the heat. Put the bull in at the end of the heat. Put goldfish in your water. Up the nitrogen in your grass. Do a rain dance. But at the bottom of every journal essay and in the last breath of the wisest cattlemen, there is always this phrase: “more research needed.”
That translates to “we have no idea.”
With our track record, we go into every calving season expecting boys. It’s just what we grow here. When a sweet little girl shows up every now and then, well, it’s pretty fun because it means we’ll finally get to keep one for awhile! We’ve got 3 calves still waiting to make their grand entrance this summer from mammas Safari, Lindy, and Abigail. Let’s take a poll, shall we? What do you think they’ll have? If you’re like my Great Aunt Myrtle*, you need to see the belly before you can guess at gender. Here’s a picture of them from just last night, if that helps.
[*There’s no Great Aunt Myrtle. There’s a little Great Aunt Myrtle is all of us, amen?]
What’s your best bet? Click the poll, certainly, but be sure to leave your guess in the comments. I’ll draw from the winners for a new TexasNorth tee-shirt.
I SAID FREE T-SHIRT.
Now, if you’re not the betting type, I’ve got another option for you: you can buy your t-shirt outright. Imagine this thinner, soft as a cloud shirt (red tri-blend, 3.4oz, 50% poly, 25%cotton, 25% rayon) in a washed-out red with our sherif badge logo in white ink (just like the hoodies last year). AND, KID SIZES. You heard me.
Adults: XS through 2XL
Youth: S M and L
Both youth and adults shirts are $12 each. Of course I’ll mail it to you, but I’ll need a little extra cash for shipping. I’ll double check, but I think $5 on your whole order will do just fine. It’s unisex sizing. I can wear a medium or a small and will order a small. If you’re ready to commit, PLEASE EMAIL ME (katiemulder AT gmail DOT com) so I have all the orders in one spot and my brain doesn’t explode. Gracias.
Yahoo for new shirts!