Friday, March 16, 2012

What we do after a calf is born - - Part 2

Besides recording the birth in our calving book, we need to take identify the calf.
(You are welcome to click on any photo to see it larger and with better detail.)

First we have to catch the calf.  One person holds the calf and another person does all of the identification work on the animal.

Each purebred calf gets a tattoo in each year.  First Mark applies green liquid tattoo ink to the inside of each ear. See Mom sticking her nose into our business?  Lucky for us this cow was nice.  Sometimes they are crabby and mean to the humans.

One ear gets 'RH' and the other ear gets a number.  The tattoo number matches the number the animal will have in adulthood.  We also tattoo each female (heifer) calf that we might keep to join our herd. 

After he had given the tattoo, he applies a second coat of the tattoo ink.

Every calf gets an ear tag. On this tag is a letter (for the year 2012 the letter is 'Z') and number (# of cow/mom) and sometimes the name of the bull (dad).  We use different color ear tags to represent different owners.  (Sorry it is sideways, I don't know why it loaded this way.)

We also give two vaccination shots at birth. 

If it is a bull calf but we don't intend to sell him that way, we castrate him.  We do this with a rubber castration band.  The steer (castrated bull) will gain weight better than a bull. 

When we are done Mom gets to make sure her baby is just fine.


  1. That's a beautiful calf. Interesting post.

  2. Thank you. I hope to use this blog, at least in part, to help educate people on our business of farming and ranching.

  3. Hello,

    Is it possible tpo use your 7th foto to illustrate an article over research for vaccination against brucellosis for the university of Namur (

    Thank you for your collaboration,

    Ann Callier (communicfation officer for UNamur)