We have made it through half of the calving season with success. It is actually half way in time, but at least 3/4th in numbers. The cleanup bulls got with it the first cycle back from A.I. January has been rather mild. The bitter cold only lasted for a day or so back early in the month, and the extremities have stayed to our north. The survival rates have shown it. Most of our losses come from malpresentations, or issues we can’t seem to control. I have done some research on breech babies. Hormones have a big influence on the position of the calf prior to entering the birth canal. I have been told there isn’t much we can do to prevent malpresentations, and in our experience the outcome on breech calves are not very favorable. I did have a calf coming backwards with his legs all folded forwards. I was able to straighten his back legs and assist the birthing with a positive outcome. This is very rare, mostly because I don’t catch it in time. If nothing else, we are trying to salvage the cow in this situation. In most cases, breech calves are usually a loss.
The finishing calves are really starting to spread out in width. We are looking at sending the first load in a couple of weeks. January showed a short rally in the market. This allowed us to forward contract a couple of loads and get a jump on pricing. Lets hope the positive trend continues and we get though March with a strong market.
I was able to take a couple of days off at the end of the month and take my wife and her mom and dad to Nashville to the NCBA convention. The convention was there a few years back, and I was told it was a sight to see. They weren’t joking. The tradeshow was overwhelming. It is amazing how far technology has gone. It is always good to speak with fellow cattlemen from different parts of the nation and exchange stories and issues that we run across everyday. It was filled with great food and entertainment. It moves around the nation every year, but when it comes back to Nashville I highly recommend going if you have the chance.