Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is 2 Better then 1?

Twins always seem like such a neat thing. 2 calves, 2 times the money, and most times 2 times the work that go along with them.

Each year it we usually get a set or 2 that are born at the farm, and each time we see twins it is a bit of a disappointment. There are lots of different mind sets when it comes to the disadvantages of twins. The big one is that if the sexes of the calves are a male and a female, if there were in the same sack during development the heifer will be a free martin, and unable to breed. When it comes to there being 2 bulls, some people believe that a bull can pass on the twin gene and do not like to purchase them for breeding. The big thing is that regardless of the sex of the calves, the cow simply does not do as well on the calves as there is 2 she is feeding rather then 1. This can lead to lower weaning weights or the cow not getting back in calf.

In some cases if we have a cow who has lost a calf we will try grafting one of the twins onto another mother. This can be a time consuming process, and does not always work, but it is better for both the mother of the twins, and the twins themselves.

One of the twin bulls this year
One big happy family of 3

Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 5 Looks: Amber Heard

1. Ravishing in Red

2. Wonderful in Westwood

3. Simple and Elegant

4. Short and Sweet

5. Classically Chic

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Calving in the Cold

Each winter it seems like we get a blast of -30 to -40 degree Celsius weather. Not only is it cold for us humans, but the cattle are just as cold as us. Factor in that our cows are also calving at that time, and it makes for a very long week with the cold weather.

This year we got our week of cold weather, and it all started when Mom and Dad were in Denver and "The Eng" and I were out calving cows. On the last day that we were at the farm we got a record 6 calves in 18hrs. Not that many by most standards, but when it is -30 with the wind blowing and a tiny barn jam packed with cows and calves, it makes for a long day.

Fortunately, most of the calves were ok, and are all doing fine now. We lost an embryo calf that was born dead, but the rest will live to tell about the cold day they were born on. There will be a few frozen ears and a bit of a frozen nose, but nothing that will effect their performance or breeding ability.

One little guy was born outside and was very cold when we found him. "The Eng" probably saved his life by getting him into the house and warming him up as fast as he could. 13Z was back out with his momma later that day, and now is out playing with the other calves. Not bad for a guy experiencing calving for the very first time!

The Eng and his new friend 13Z

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Big Bad Bulls

Ok well the bulls really arn't bad, but they sure are getting big. We have 6 bulls left in the pen, and these ones have been carried over to sell in the Red Deer Bull Sale in March. 5 of these bulls are paternal brothers to the $40,000 RJY Rival bull we sold at checkers.

Over the next few weeks we will continue to clip and tie these bulls up. All of our bulls are sold tie or halter broke for easy handling. Once I have a few more pictures I will be sure to post them, but for now here are a few shots of the bulls from this past weekend.

Revolution son that will sell in March
Getting Rival ready to head to Alta Genetics

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Calving 2012

Calving has officially begun at the farm with over 20 calves now. They are looking great and I will have more updates and pictures in the coming weeks. For now here is a little taste of a few of the calves.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top 5 Looks: Emma Watson

1. Best Ever!

2. Perfect at Potter Premier

3. Beautiful in Burberry

4. Elegant in White

5. Short and Edgy

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tie Outs Morning and Night

While we are at Farmfair we are lucky enough to be able to tie our animals outside at night. This helps to keep them healthy and it also allows us to remake the stall each night. 

The crew at Northlands takes care of putting down clean straw each day for the animals to lay in at night. We then take hay out for them to eat at night.

Tie-outs during the day
At 6pm each night the barn doors open and cattle start moving outside for the night. It is pretty neat to see 500 head of cattle walking around the horse track towards the tie-outs. 

While the animals are stalled there during the night they have both a halter and a neck tie to secure them in place. A neck tie is an additional rope that goes around there neck and is secured with a ring and clip. The halter is then tied to the left side and the neck robe on the right with the animal in the middle.This keeps them in place and from not getting tangled up with other animals as well as a back up measure encase one of the ropes comes undone during the night.

Tie-outs at night filled with cattle

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas & New Years 2011

This year we had our first brown Christmas in a while. Jon and Crystal were in Iowa for Christmas so the holidays were a bit different this year.

We headed to the Groenveld Christmas Eve party and had a surprise visit from Santa. The next stop was at our Groeneveld Grandparents at High River. We had lots of fun in the morning, and our Uncle Dean's dog Axel had fun opening a few presents too.

On December 30th Crystal and Jon joined us for New Years and to celebrate Christmas with them. It was great to see them one last time before the big wedding in April and to spend New Years Eve together. The last time that happened was back when Crystal was in college. Dan also joined us and the 4 of us spend the night at Dan's cabin with a few other friends.

 The next time we will see Jon is the wedding in April, and I will get to see Crystal in March for one last trip out with the girls!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red Carpet Round-Up: Golden Globes Best Dressed

Tina Fey In Oscar de la Renta

Charlize Theron in Dior
Claire Danes in J. Mendel

Evan Rachel Wood in Gucci

Jessica Alba in Gucci

Kate Beckinsale in Cavalli

Lea Michele in Marchesa

Maria Menounos

Nicole Kidman in Versace

Paula Patton in Monique Lhuillier

Reese Witherspoon in Zac Posen

Rooney Mara in Nina Ricci

Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang

Zooey Deschanel in Prada

Red Carpet Round-Up: Golden Globes Worst Dressed

Amanda Peet

Busy Phillips

Angelina Jolie in Versace

Elle MacPherson in Zac Posen

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy

Kelly Osbourne in Zac Posen

Madonna in Reem Acra

Melissa McCarthy in Badgley Mischka

Michelle Williams in Jason Wu

Mila Kunis in Dior

Natalie Portman In Lanvin

Piper Perabo in Theysken's Theory