A local calf is a Colt and has the horseshoe to prove it.
At daybreak Jan. 3, on a small farm west of Taylorsville operated by Tom and Tonya McLoed, a heifer calf was born when temperatures outside registered negative-2 degrees. That prompted the family to name her Two Below.
The calf had a cold, rough start, but with help from the McLoeds and their friend and cow-calf producer Ron Rapp, the calf warmed up and started nursing later that day, Tonya McLeod said.
What quickly caught their attention after birth, though, was a white horseshoe-like marking on the forehead of the Simmental-Angus breed calf, which is otherwise black.
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The McLoeds and Rapp thought the marking resembled the horseshoe logo of the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL — although the Colts logo is blue.
The McLoed’s seized the opportunity to inform the club of the newest Colt.
“I emailed the Indianapolis Colts and they sent Two Below a scarf and requested pictures of their newest Colts fan,” Tonya McLoed said.
The family wrapped the blue-and-white scarf around the calf’s neck and snapped some pictures.
“She’s a big Colts fan,” Tonya McLoed said of Two Below.
“She is a strong and healthy calf who loves to run and kick up her heels in the field,” McLoed added.
Two Below has plenty of company on the farm, where the McLoeds and son Nick Walter produce hay and horses, cattle, dogs, cats and chickens. In the past they have raised goats, long-horned steer and sheep. Farming is a way of life for them.
“While growing up, Tom spent as much time as he could on his grandpa’s farm of row crops and cattle,” Tonya McLoed said.
“I am a fifth-generation Montanan and my family were ranchers. At its peak, my dad and grandpa’s ranch had over 7,500 sheep,” she added.
Nick has competed in junior rodeo competitions for 10 years and has spent the past two summers in Montana with his grandpa and working on a hay crew, his mother said.
The McLoeds recently started raising beef cattle and also learned how to do artificial insemination to select specific values to improve our cattle-herd genetics, Tonya McLoed said.
Two Below is their first heifer calf born through the artificial insemination process, she added.
And one that has made quite an impression.