Snow may dot the pastureland, but this season’s first batch of weaned calves have joined the county’s herds on it.
Marion farmer Eugene Just says he has “quite a few” out sampling the late winter grass along with corn silage, hay, and brome.
His calves are born twice a year in November until early January and then February until April.
Longtime farmer Terry Vinduska says that’s becoming preferable to January calving that forces cattlemen to keep watch during inclement weather.
“Anytime you have cattle is always a busy time of year,” he said.
Most cattlemen have their cows weaned by now and are grazing them — if they haven’t sold them or taken them to a lot.
“If it’s dryer, most will be running cows out on corn stalks or milo stalks, he said. “They don’t need high quality feed, mostly roughage and a little protein.”
Calving season is never too far away, and then things will really get busy, both Vinduska and Just agreed.
“You don’t pick the day the calves are born,” Just said.
Just checks his calves at least twice a day and feeds maybe once, or twice, depending on the weather. Water needs to be checked, especially if it’s freezing.
He now has them weaned and “out on grass.”
Vinduska said cows that aren’t feeding calves are pretty hardy even in winter.
“A cow can hang in there pretty good if they have some kind of windbreak,” he said. “A cow doesn’t have to have a roof over her head to get her through the winter.”
Just agrees the elements don’t bother most cattle.
“That’s just life on the prairie,” he said.