Sunday, June 1, 2008

Working cattle

Okay, a little background info before I share my Saturday details with you. We run a split calving operation. We have spring calver's and fall calver's. Every year we're striving to go toward's more fall calver's and get away from the spring calving a bit. The banker balked in the beginning but is starting to come around to our way of thinking now.

Anyway, we preg checked the fall calving cows and worked and weaned their calves. My 5 year old nephew is here visiting us right now and has been such a trooper going to branding's, helping with chores and riding quite a little. When my boys were little they rode with me until they were old enough to sit up on a saddle on their own (around 3 years old as we had a great kids horse for them) so I've had plenty of experience riding with a little person in front of me. I've decided it's not liking riding a bike and you do forget how to do it. Thankfully it's a skill that can be picked up again when the chips are down.

Our fall calver's are not the gentlest bunch of cows either. We bought 300 head of open cows several years ago to put embryo's in for my dad's client's. A good portion of these are the "not so open" girls that people just really wanted to get rid of for one reason or another. We quickly found out that temprament was one of the main reason's!

My nephew did really well while we were moving them home and I was never short on conversation with him. By the time we got them here and started sorting cows from calves he thought he'd had enough though. He had to tough it out for awhile though as there's no safe place for a 5 year old while your sorting cow's other than on a horse. Once he was off though I switched horses and rode a young horse we just got back from some training.

It was SO much fun to ride a horse with some fire in his belly and tons of cow sense. He's off of our breeding and we're pretty proud of that line of horses. 4 of the horses being used yesterday were all by King (a linebred King P-234 stud) and the cow sense and level headedness shows through with all of them!

We vaccinated and poured the calves and it was obvious several of them are already picking up their mother's sour attitudes! My dad is a vet and does all of our herd work for us. So, when he got here we tested bulls and preg checked cows. The opens and broken mouthed cows got loaded in a trailer and headed for the salebarn. The bred cows got moved back to the pasture minus their calves who are standing in the corral still bawling.

It was past dark by the time we got done yesterday but overall a good day. The weather was absolutely beautiful all day, no bodily harm to human or critter and another day to spend doing what we love with people we love. I feel blessed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,
I enjoyed reading your blog. Your life on the ranch reminds me of days I spent visiting my relatives in Wyoming. I was always so excited about riding horses with my cousin. Your pictures are great.
I so enjoyed meeting you and your family (and your dogs) last year when you stopped in Iowa on your way back from the dog show in Pennsylvania.
Ann Wickenkamp