Okay, since I made everyone sad with yesterdays’ post – I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intent… one of the dangers of thinking out loud – I’m going to try to do something a little different for a couple of reasons. Number 1 is to give me a ‘deadline’ to post something. Not that I don’t have stuff to say (shocker, huh?), I’ve got lots of stuff to say, but sometimes I just don’t get around to it. And Number 2 to give you, dear readers, a definition to some of the words I use. Some are actual, recognized words. Some are made up in our little circle of acquaintances, family and friends but we all know what the heck we are talking about. Well, maybe only those in our immediate circle of 5.
So here we go. Hope you enjoy the ride 😉
When calving season was about to start, the cows bodies change just like any mammal that is pregnant with offspring of the sort. A description that gets used around these parts (one side of the road to the other) is the word ‘heavies’. Now I can’t take credit for that word, it was
stolen borrowed from our lady rancher friend since it is a well-suited description for these mamas.
What are ‘the heavies’ you ask? The heavies are the big, round, pregnant mama cows…. believe me, some are more ‘heavy’ than others.
And pray tell what do heavies do while waiting for their time to calve? Not much….
This time of year is a transition for them to loose their winter woolies and change into their summer coats. There is cow hair all over the place… barbed wire, trees, rockjacks, post, large rocks… whatever they can scratch on. Tufts of red cow hair. Maybe the groomer will pay the heavies a visit…
… or a branch will be low enough to scratch the places they can’t really reach.
Some of the heavies will bask in the sun or find a shady spot, wander about and pick at the grass that is growing about as fast as they can nip it off (the sound of it growing hurts their ears) but if they find a patch of wild garlic, it is their favorite snack. Yes, they do end up with garlic breath mixed with the fine smell of fermentation. Cows with garlic breath. Oh, the smells of Spring!
During this time of year (mid-April) the heavies are happy being able to wander about and not be fed a daily ration of dried grass hay. And no snow or mud. We do feed a little hay at this time and they do clean up pretty good but they slow down on the hay consumption pretty quick as the grass grows. The only reason we still feed some hay at that time is so that the green grass doesn’t go shooting out of them, meaning that it slows down the intestinal tract with a little roughage. What goes into the cow will come out… we just want to see it come out a little slower.
The heavies also slow down on their protein intake as they start to get close to calving but will continue to get free choice protein blocks and their mineral/salt. It is important for their dietary needs, year round. We want their body condition to be optimal at this time so that they will re-breed back soon after they calve. But during this time of year some of the ol’ gals look like they are going to pop as the calves inside them lower into position towards the birth canal. Some look like a string could be tied around a hoof and they could be flown as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.
What a fun time of year! Little white faces dot the fields and then the calves will be zooming about, with tails high in the air like little white-tipped flags.
Hope you enjoyed the inaugural Wordy Wednesday with the word ‘heavies’!
Until next time…
One thought on “Wordy Wednesday… ‘the heavies’”
And I learned more new things! Thank you!