– Farm Visits Update –
– Keeping Cool –
– Mini Lesson: Twins –
– Speaking of Twins –
FARM VISITS UPDATE
This summer’s farm visits have been wonderful. Our visitors have been greatly appreciated for their care in keeping us healthy.
Sadly, our immediate area is experiencing a dramatic spike in positive cases of COVID 19. So in an abundance of caution, we have once again closed the farm to visitors.
I look forward to the day when we can reopen, and hope it will come in time for our fall calving season. It is always a delight to show off our brand new babies.
KEEPING COOL ON A HOT DAY
Remember little Hot Stuff from the last two newsletters? That boy and his auntie Cautious have moved to Knoxville where they are the hit of the neighborhood. Both Cautious and Hot Stuff are enjoying life in a brand new barn with doting parents. When Hot Stuff complained of the heat, his dad went right out and bought him a fan!
Cautious has had fun decorating her new home and thinks she has hit the retirement lottery.
THE MINI LESSON
Let’s talk about twins . . . Twins are fairly rare in Highlands with only 1-2% of births producing twins. There are two differing viewpoints about the desirability of a twin birth.
Nadia gave us our first experience with this when she delivered healthy, twin heifers without assistance. She was a little surprised as were we! Nadia was quick to explain that one calf at a time was enough to handle.
I guess the good things about twins must outweigh the bad, since everyone I know is excited when twins are born. We were very fortunate this fall with ours.
Although Nadia preferred to raise only one twin, she did allow us to work with the other one. We were fortunate to find the perfect surrogate mother in Amber who had lost her calf the same day the twins were born.
A quick call to Higher Ground Herbs and Homestead started both trucks rolling and we met half way to hand off the orphan. Carol Burnett stayed with her birth mom, and Lucille Ball, AKA Lucy Moo, joined her adopted mother Amber who fell in love with her new baby girl after only a short time.
TWINS, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Well, that list is fairly long actually . . .
- Twins frequently have a lower birth weight and because they are competing for nutrition, their weaning weight might also be lower than single birth calves.
- In about half the twin births, one of the twins will be breech and require calving assistance.
- If one of the twins is a heifer and one is a bull, the resulting heifer cow has a high probability of being infertile and is termed a Free Martin. If both twins are heifers or both bulls, there does not seem to be any issue.
- If mama does raise both babies, it is double draining on her and she will need extra nutrition and big dose of TLC to maintain her health.
- Finally, it is not uncommon for the cow to take longer to breed back for the next year.
THE TWINS ARE BOTH WELL AND LOVING LIFE NOW
Above is Lucy Moo who loves her life with her surrogate mom, Amber and her little goat friends.
Above is Carol who absolutely adores her new owner and enjoys a pampered life in her new home with her pasture friend, Fern. Fern is visually handicapped and was happy when Carol moved in to help her safely navigate the pasture.
Heather wants to remind you to stay safe out there! Wear your mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, decontaminate everything you buy before taking it into your home. Unfortunately, this isn’t over yet.
The Best Way To Reach Us….
Land line: (423) 272-6609
If you prefer text:
Nancy’s cell: 912-674-8401
Schuyler’s cell: 423-754-0747
We are so far out that our cell service isn’t as good as red Solo cups and string, so please text to cell phones and save the frustration of “Can you hear me now?”
As we’ve started collecting and selling semen from our award-winning bulls, we created a related page on the website with information about that. It also includes information about our herd sires. Check it out here.