Another Use for Duct Tape

Now that calving has begun, (as of last week) my husband and I started the process of every day, looking over the herd and making an educated guess as to which cows are most likely to calve soon. There are various signs to look for such as a cow looking “bagged up” (her milk is coming in), acting stand offish or won’t come to feed, excessive tail switching, or visible amniotic fluids, to name a few but these signs are by no means a guarantee.  Some cows may not even look close and calve during the night–thus the reason we also double check with night checks.

After we feed the cows, while they eat we look them over and jot down the ear tag numbers of the ones we want to get in close to the barn. Especially at night when the temperature is predicted to drop a lot, we get the ones we’ve picked put in the barn.

My husband and I have different systems for writing down and referring to the numbers of cows we want to sort off and get to the barn. He writes down in his calendar/calf record book in that day’s space, all the numbers of the ones we’re getting in and puts a circle around the numbers. While we’re looking for the cows on our list, he continually refers to his calf record book.

I don’t like hassling with opening and closing my calf record book so much so I jot the numbers down in my book and write them down on a piece of duct tape that I stick to my coat sleeve so I can look at the numbers at a glance while looking through the herd.

As we get a cow in (preferably more than one at time but we take what we can get), I scribble out the number with my pen. I’m a southpaw so as you can see, my list of numbers goes on my right sleeve so I can mark the numbers off. Writing the numbers down on a piece of duct tape is way easier and quicker for me to see all the different numbers quickly.

Yet another handy-dandy use for duct tape. I just want to know what people did before duct tape existed.

One response to “Another Use for Duct Tape”

  1. Robyn Avatar


    That is an awesome idea! I am going to have to try it. I can’t remember more than one number at a time. It’s hard to remember pen and paper as I run out of the house to do chores. I seem to take longer to get ready than J and don’t want to be left behind.

    Hope you have a successful calving season. Our heifers are due March 1st, so we are starting to watch them. J is not getting up at 2 yet.

    Oh, I am a south paw too! lol!

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