Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A few new faces

We are renting out our pasture this summer to a friend of a friend. We weren't really thinking about it, but it was presented to us and we decided to go for it. It'll be a while before we have enough animals to need that much space, so we might as well put it to work with someone else's cattle. The rent will pay for the property taxes on that land, as well as some left over that we'll put toward improving the land, perhaps in fencing or water systems.

So a few days ago, 35 head of cattle came by semi truck to their new summer home. These cattle are pregnant, or should be. The owner of the cattle is trying sort of a new thing. In AI (or artificial insemination), you can pick the best of the best genetics from the bull, but are stuck with whatever genetics are in the cow. Well, this guy is basically using these cows as surrogate mothers. Instead of AI, they've been implanted with embryos from the best of the best genetics in both the bull and the cow. So all the cows have been implanted and in a few weeks, they'll be checked to see if they've actually become pregnant. If not, they'll be implanted again. I can't imagine how this could be profitable, as something like this in humans is outrageously expensive, but he's willing to try it. And we'll be curious bystanders.

When they first arrived, Annabelle was hanging out by the fence by them. I sure do wonder what she was thinking! But, they've now gone to the other side of the hill and she's back to her normal routine of eating, loafing, and chewing her cud. It's a tough life.

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