Thursday, June 27, 2013

Servicing cows...


These pretty Herefords are yearling heifers.  They have never had calves.  It's "that time" of the year when we turn in the bulls to service the cows.  I've always thought that "service" was an interesting term for breeding cows.  Actually, they call it natural service now because there is also a type of service that is artificial insemination.  We did AI (artificially inseminate) the heifers on June 2nd and then turned the bulls in with them after that.  A bull can service approximately 25 cows, so we turn out enough bulls with each group to make sure the cows get bred.  During this time we watch the bunches closely to check for injuries.  If a bull gets hurt, he's got to be replaced in the herd or we might come up with open cows in the fall when we pregnancy test.


 This big fella loves his summer job. 

This is Easy 947W, one of our best herdsires.  Isn't he a beaut?  Soon we will begin AI-ing some of our mature cows, and then more bulls will go out to do their service!


  1. Do you do AI and natural servicing both just to make double sure every cow "takes"?

    1. Yes, we AI in hopes that it takes, but if it doesn't, then the bull will breed her if we missed. We call those bulls that go in after we AI, clean-up.

      We don't AI every cow on the ranch, but just a select bunch. The rest get natural service only.

  2. That bull is so handsome! How many bulls do you own? Where do you keep them during the year, and are they (the bulls) hard on fencing? I've been tossing around the idea of buying a dairy goat (milk for family and for my soap), but I do not think I also want to buy a buck. I don't know what the AI rates are - both success and price - but it is something to consider.

  3. I thought of you when we drove through SW Washington on the first part of our NW visit. I saw a lot of cows that look like yours. So, when will the calves be born then? I hope you are feeling better and better. If you were my neighbor, I'd put veggies and fruits in my bike basket, ride up the road and make you a green smoothie. We could raise our glasses and say, "Here's to a good cow day!"

  4. He sure is a beaut. Looks like your hands are quite full of good, down to earth livin'. Oh how I do wish we were neighbors! :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  5. Wow, that's some size of bull! He's a beauty! xx

  6. They are fabulous and especially those sweet faces and wonderful eye lashes. :)

  7. He is magnificant Jody! I love herefords, something majestic about them.
    We had a young calf lost in the village near Packwood house this morning, he was cute but looked so confused.

  8. Oh my goodness. He really is quite amazing! I'd be a bit scared to meet up with him...

  9. He really is one grand-looking bull!! My brother in law has a cow/calve operation and whenever we visit we always check to see how "cross" this year's bull is. You wouldn't want to get caught in the field with a cross one!

  10. That was interesting...I bet not many people are knowledgeable about breeding.

  11. Wow! look at all those moo cows! They sure do
    look like a handsome bunch and they look like they
    know it too!
    beautiful photos, Corinne

  12. Beautiful cattle. My husband was raised with Herefords and he loves them still. That Mr. is amazing!

  13. My goodness, that is quite a heifer that!! He looks like he knows it too ;-)
    xox Clarice


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