Longhorn Baby Wagon

DCC Ranch e-News #275 - 5-17-22

by Darol Dickinson - photos by Brad Troy

Calves in Pickup 1
Follow along the dusty trail of a modern day Texas Longhorn trail drive. Here at Dickinson Cattle Co, Barnesville, Ohio USA the calves are being born at 8 to 20 per day. For good management, every 3 to 5 days all the calves of that age group are moved with their mothers to a separate pasture. It is easier to check pastures if management groups are separated by pairs, springers and dries. By the end of calving season the DCC pastures will have sorted 40 to 50 pair in 10 to 14 pastures.
Calves in Pickup 2
On April 7 twenty calves were born. On April 8 the new pairs were driven 3 miles to a new pasture. About half way, the day old calves just got tuckered out and started dragging toward the rear. As they lay down, demanded to "sleep-it-off" in the middle of a public road, the DCC men loaded them into the old ranch truck. Scott became the official baby sitter.
Calves in Pickup 3
These Texas Longhorn calves are completely pooped! However, 3 miles is a pretty good stampede for a one day old calf. The 3 and 4 day olds walked the total distance.
Calves in Pickup 4
Each calf has an ear tag with the initials of the sire and name of the dam. All DCC calves are weighed, receive a selenium shot and tagged promptly after birth. Little lives are very important at DCC. Some will grow to be great impressive specimens. Every precaution is taken for their health, care and safety. The main job of every livestock producer is detail to careful handling, save every life and continuously solve every problem, especially for those too young to figure it out. Even the historic wisdom of a Texas Longhorn is slightly minimal at a day old. In any successful livestock production, love of the animals is imperative.
Calves unloaded from Pickup
Each calf is unloaded to be optimistically received by the expectant mother at the end of the trail. For those of us north of the fortieth parallel in Ohio, the new grass is just starting. (Ten days ago we had 9 inches of snow.) New mothers are now reunited and happy. The calves quickly grabbed an aggressive shot of milk, lay down in the new grass and zonk out.
Calves unloaded from Pickup
Calves unloaded from Pickup
(Note: Don't look at the old truck door--the handle hasn't worked for months, but it opens and closes fine with a bungee cord. That is one way you can tell DCC is not operated by the US government.)
Calves Paired Back up
Cows mother-up and the calves feel like new in an hour or so. (Youth is wonderful.) All is well that ends well. DCC. 740 758 5050