By Tyler Trieglaff

Notes from the Chief

We are 3 for 3 on our first calf heifers not having any milk. What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a going on here? 

I think I have it nailed down after some research and asking some other cattlemen. The issue can most likely be attributed to the nutrition/ration we fed the heifers 18 months ago. 

“Feeding excess energy prior to puberty creates the risk of fat deposition in mammary tissue” said Dr. Jim Quigley. 

“We call the growth stage during which mammary tissue is most quickly developing its ‘allometric’ growth phase. Allometric growth refers to the concept that the mammary system grows faster than the animal as a whole,” Quigley continues. “Typically, allometric growth occurs through puberty, which will occur at about 9 to 13 months of age. Increasing rate of gain will cause heifers to reach puberty at an earlier age.”

Back in October 2020 we started a new backgrounding ration for our feeder calves. The calves also had access to creep feed while on pasture with their mamas. Backgrounding is feeding the calves after they are weaned to prepare them for the feedlot. We hired on with a new herd nutritionist at that time. Our goal was to put the weight on the calves so they would be heavier come sale day. We averaged 3.5 pounds of gain from October to January on the hot ration and that maybe contributed to the “fatty udder tissue,” thus little to no milk. One old wise man said, “backgrounding for the feedlot is different than growing for replacements.”

Did we mess up? Time will tell as we have eight more heifers to calve yet. We tried everything we could think of to get the heifers to come into milk. Waiting a few days, Oxytocin (a milk let down hormone), holding the calves off mama for an extended period of time, nothing worked. 

The one cow that had her baby has normal milk and the calf is doing well. Right now we have three bottle babies and three cows destined for your local hamburger shop. 

The other question is, did we screw up the heifers we weaned in November 2021?  We fed them a backgrounding ration but it wasn’t as hot as the year before. Do we feed these for an entire year to find out that they don’t have milk either?  We will see what the other eight do for their milk. We may end up selling the 11 that don’t have any milk as well as the other 12 we kept. The option after that is to buy back 15-20 preggo mama cows to keep our herd numbers where we want to be. 

Friday, March 18

3:30 p.m. Report of a violation of a harassment/restraining order. Two adult females who like to engage in drama were both at the bus stop waiting for their kiddos. Officer determined that there was not any contact between the two drama queens.

8:06 p.m. Report of a domestic assault between a male and female. Cory Royer, 36, Frazee arrested for felony domestic assault.

8:44 p.m. Male party reporting a theft. Turned out to be a misunderstanding.

Sunday, March 20

5:50 p.m. Report of a medical pendant alarm being pushed on W Maple. Person who pushed the button made it home to DL.

Monday, March 21

2:45 p.m. Female reporting getting suspicious paperwork and a suspicious phone call.

Tuesday, March 22

12:08 p.m. Juvenile male left the high school upset. Officers found kiddo at home and dealt with the issue.

3:18 p.m. Report of a juvenile male with a vape at the high school.

Wednesday, March 23

8:07 p.m. Adult male at the gas station with a minibike. Minibike is not street legal and party was told to get the bike home safely.

10:25 p.m. Suspicious vehicle at repair shop. Occupants were looking for a vehicle that they were hoping to repossess. Officer has seen the vehicle around and the female driving it, but not for some time. Last he saw of her was in the hoosegow. Information relayed to repo man.

Thursday, March 24

2:40 p.m. Assist with a medical.

3:07 p.m. Another medical pendant alarm push. Unable to locate.