With 16 calves on the ground, it was time to start tagging them. This year we went for a BCID tag in the right ear with a white flap tag for the back. This way we could give the calves a reference number readily visible. Last year we wrote the BCID tag numbers in the calf list, but the numbers are small and require squeezing the calves to read them. So now, hopefully the calf ID will be easily readable.
After breakfast the girls got busy with all the tags, lists and elastics. So with all 7 kids we headed up to the maternity pens. Willy and Maggie were the spectators, John was to keep any nosy or upset cows away from us. Peter and Henry were to tackle the calves, I tag and use the elastic banding tool and Petra passes me the injections. Matty and Georgina loaded the tagging machine and kept track of the tags and which calf got which tag. Easy peasy! This was one of the easiest tagging sessions yet. The cows were more mellow than usual, Peter being much stronger and larger than last year grabbed the cows faster and got them down quicker.
He used a new technique this year. He approached the unsuspecting calf from the side and then grabbed both of the far legs and pulled the calf down. This worked surprisingly well and avoided the usual running around trying to physically catch the calf. We did have one overactive calf. She jumped around and basically pwned Peter then ran away out of that half of the pen. We caught her on the other side, alongside one of the last snow banks. Luckily it was a she and didn't require an elastic on its balls.
The best part of tagging the calves is it is such a family operation. Everyone has their part to play and we all work together so well.
That was yesterday morning and since then we have another two calves born. I suspect we will re-run the program next weekend.