It has been an extremely busy day here at the Haley homestead. By midnight tonight we will have bred cows 14 times, 4 of those are donor cows that were bred 2 or 3 times today and yes these are all timed and we must do them so many hours apart. My day started out at 12:30am out in the pasture with my flashlight watching which cows were coming into heat at that time, then again a walk to the pasture at 3:30am but the day officially started at 5:30am which is the time that we had to breed the first donor cows. No time to really catch a nap because at 8:00am was breeding time for one of the other donors and then at 12 noon for the final donor. Most people would think that would be enough but those of you in this type of cattle operation, well you know better. 😉 So at 2pm we started the second round of breeding, then again at 4pm and that time it included another cow that was in heat at midnight last night. Geez now we get a short break and then another lady to breed at 8pm and then the donors again starting at 10pm and then ending at midnight with the final cows for the day.
Some of you may wonder why in the heck are these crazy people doing all this extra work, just buy a bull. Well this process is very important to people like us that raise seed stock, (animals that will be the young replacement breeding animals in other herds) it is how we increase the amount of really good females or bulls out of the best cows that we have which in turn will have a greater impact on the quality of replacements that we can offer to our customers. So next Wednesday we will have the embryologist come to the farm and flush those tiny little eggs out of the donors and we will then implant those little eggs into other cows to raise those calves for us. We also sell those little eggs to other breeders to try and help them have better calves to keep in their herds for the future.
This is not easy work for us but the cows seem to get used to the way things work as this process goes on throughout the last couple weeks. In fact a lot of the cows will go to the work area just by us talking nicely and giving a friendly scratch on the back, but some are sort of head strong and we have to outsmart them to get them where they need to be in the work area.
So stay posted for the results of all of our work today, I will post how many little eggs we collect next week. Wish us luck!!!