I would like to say it is all sunshine and rainbows here on our ponderosa, but that isn’t always the case. Our breeding season has started at Slykhuis Farms and has been one of the most challenging ones to date. We have been wet for the entire month of March, measuring around 8-9 inches of rain. More than half of it came the past two weeks as we were synchronizing and A.I. breeding cows. We have had cool temperatures along with it, which put a lot of stress on the calves as well as the cow herd. The cow pokes bounced between a rain duster and coveralls and used a water hose on all of it every night. It certainly wasn’t a great time for updated website and Facebook photos. Despite all the muck, I still feel like we got some cows bred. They would be covered in mud when they came through the chute, but the hair was worn off their backside. It seemed like the majority of the cows were cycling, and they felt right when I went in to breed them. Once you start this process there isn’t any turning back or changing. All we can do is follow the steps and hope for the best.
The cool wet weather has put us behind on grazing this spring too. Most all of Southern Illinois cattle producers are out of hay, and in dire need of fresh grass. Our farm is on the tail end of its supply. I have added some soy pellets, and in some cases, some rang cubes to sustain energy levels. It is a critical time right after they have been A.I. bred. Maintaining their nutrition is a key part of retaining early conceptions.