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Friday, January 25, 2013

Will it be a boy or girl?

Babies are arriving. 

Not our babies. Our cows are calving! A few weeks ago one of our favorite cows calved, Teardrop. Remember her glamour shot from this fall?

This picture was taken shortly after the Iowa State Fair.

Teardrop in her working clothes. 

Teardrop was artificially inseminated (A.I.). And we used sexed semen. Yes, not only can you A.I. your cows, but you can purchased sexed semen. Reproductive companies have the ability to separate out the sperm that will create a heifer (female) calf, from the little boy swimmers. Only the heifer producing semen is frozen, as the little bull swimmers aren't strong enough to go through the freezing (to preserve it) and thawing (so farmers can then use it to A.I. their cows). This is a a pretty cool illustration on how it works.

Teardrop was bred with sexed semen. So, we were pretty excited to get a heifer calf. But, wait if you have been following on the blog, Facebook page or Instagram you will remember Teardrop had a bull calf. With sexed semen there is still a 7% chance you'll get a bull calf. We were part of that 7%.

Meet Parker, the bull calf that was supposed to be a heifer calf.


Why would we want a heifer calf rather than a bull calf? Teardrop is a really good cow, and we are hoping that we get some daughters out of her so we can have more of her genetics in the cowherd. In other situations heifers out of a certain cow or bull maybe be worth more. In the dairy industry sexed semen is used a lot because heifers are worth a lot more than bulls. We can only get that milk from the cows, right!

Next time you are stuck for dinner table discussion you can bring up this blog post!

p.s. I am excited to be speaking at the Kansas Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Manhattan, KS tomorrow. Maybe I'll meet some of my blog friends in real life!

8 comments:

  1. This EXACT thing happened to us! When I get ornery about it I have to remind myself that a bull calf is better than no calf at all. :)
    P.S. That Parker is a cutie!

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    1. When we were out in Denver we talked to a lot of people that were in the same situation this year.

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  2. We had the same thing happen last year as well - they must be determined little bull spermies! :) It'll be fun to watch the story of Parker.

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    1. He had grown so much. I'll get some new pictures of him soon.

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  3. That little bull calf is adorable! I miss having cattle in my backyard! Thank you for posting all of these wonderful pictures and updates!

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    1. You're welcome. I'll try and give you your calf picture fix.

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  4. That bull calf is stinking adorable! I do feel your pain on the gender... we don't use sexed semen, and it seems like we always end up with a little more than 50% bulls. One day the odds will tip in our favor!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Marybeth for stopping by. Good luck with calving this year.

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