This year we had an amazing crop of bull calves that we decided should be kept as bulls and not banded for steers. I’m not usually a fan of having a bunch of bulls around. They can get a little testy and ornery as they get older. BUT this pen of bulls must be the exception. They are the biggest bunch of babies I think we’ve ever had. So, what is it that really makes them happy?
1. Fresh water. We have one bull that like to drink if there are bubbles in the water and tries to get me to pull the water hose back so that he gets the little air bubbles in his water. The bull in the picture below likes to drink out the tub as long as the water is running and swirling in the tub. He’ll change water tubs along with the hose. We fill 3 – 25 gallon tubs two to three times a day for these guys.
2. Silage and corn. We opened our bag of silage early this week. Silage is corn that is chopped when it’s still fairly green. It’s the stalk, cob, kernels and all. Kind of like a one dish casserole. The calves love it. It smells wonderful. When we pour a little feed on top of the silage the bulls are happy, happy, happy!
3. Hay. We put out a big round bale of high quality hay for the bulls to munch on between meals. We feed them their silage and grain at about 7 am and 5 pm now that the time has changed. When they get hungry in between those times they go to the hay bale and fill themselves back up. As you can see in the picture, they obviously love their hay.
4. Stress tubs. I hadn’t realized until today just how much the boys love their stress tub. This is a small lick tub that is a free choice supplement for young calves going through a stressful time. The bulls have been weaned about a month now, but our weather has been yo-yoing quite a bit lately causing stress on their immune systems. We’re sold on Stress Tubs as we’ve not had any sick calves in the calves we weaned here. They take the stress off the calves and off the farmers.
5. And last but not least, the bulls love attention. It doesn’t really matter if it’s attention from us or from the heifers in the pen next to them. Remember, they’re like 13 year old boys. Girls are fun to be around and to show off for, especially when they’re pretty.
So, there you go. The top 5 things our bull calves love.
1. The health of our family. Never take this for granted, folks. It can go away in a second and change your life forever.
2. Dirty dishes. Means I have enough food to feed my family and that I have a family to feed.
3. Dirty clothes. Means we’ve worked hard enough to get them dirty and are blessed to have plenty of clothes to keep us warm.
4. Safe and plentiful food supply. Many areas aren’t as blessed as we are in the US. We have choices when many people in many countries would just be happy with a safe supply of food.
5. Sweet iced tea. I’m from the South, what more needs to be said?