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Branding Heifers, Weaning Bull Calves
12 August 2008
page 4 of 4
The bull calves staying on the Ranch will now be weaned from their mothers. The bull calves will be held in the cattle pens for the next four to five days where they will be fed on grain and hay. Above, the feed spreader is backed up to a trailer containing bales of hay and bags of feed.
Vinnie Parentela and Mike Sexton unload bags of feed, which are then dumped into the feeder. The feeder is being tested prior to the construction of a feed silo to gravity fill the feeder.
Hay is loaded onto the back of the trailer.
The feeder balks a bit at having to do its job, which requires some attention.
With the tractor slowly pulling it along, above, the feeder finally fills the troughs. Then, left, hay is spread over the feed in the trough.
Once more today the bull calves, above, find themselves in the chute, this time leading to the scales, left.
Michael Sexton looks on while Clyde Scent operates the scale. The bull calves averaged almost 700 pounds each.
Will Barker looks on as the bull calves are released into the pens with the food troughs.
The bull calves mingle in the pens, a bit hesitant at first to investigate the food trough. Once they settled down, the troughs soon were emptied as the calves' appetites took hold. After four or five days, the calves will be released back into a pasture where they will continue to be given high protein feed along with being able to graze upon the pasture grass. After 90 days they will be weighed and evaluated again to see how much they have grown.
With the bull calves settling in their temporary home, the rest of the cattle are returned to pasture. Above, a herd passes the old barn.
The herd moves lazily along under the watchful eyes of the cowboys.
Florida Cattle Ranch by Bob Montanaro
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