We decided to ‘take the leap’ and purchase the Red Angus heifers. They arrived at 10:30 pm on Monday. Waiting for a load of cattle to come in is nerve-wracking. Will they be gentle? Will they be hungry? Did they all get loaded? What will they weigh? Did we get a good price?
Growing up, I went to town in the middle of the night with my Dad to unload cattle. The cattle pots seemed huge to me as a kid. I was excited to see the cows come off the truck, but my Dad was always a bit nervous. Now, I know why.
All summer they have been grazing on big, open pasture. Most likely they were checked by a person on a horse. Seeing a walking human is odd for them. As you see in the video, they like to walk away from me. I’m training them to come to me when I call them and bring feed or hay.
South Dakota rancher and writer, Linda Hasselstrom writes, “Whenever you see a “cowboy” thundering along behind a herd of cattle, yelling and swinging his rope, he’s either in a movie or he doesn’t own the cows. Anyone who does that with real cows is losing money–they can run off hundreds of pounds of salable fat on a hot day.”
Now, sometimes I have chased a get-a-away steer across a pasture, but that’s usually because he is wild. In an ideal setting, cattle handling is a calm, quiet process. (That being said, I do love a good cowboyin’ story.)
The calves we weaned last week are doing well. They recognize the feed wagon now and crowd around the bunk waiting for their next meal.As for the stress and sickness, we only had to doctor one calf, tag number AJ-11. He had a droopy ear which is a sign of sickness. John gave him a shot of Nuflor, which is an antibiotic medicine for cattle. Cattle medicine is quite expensive, a 100 mL bottle of Nuflor costs about $73.00. In this case, the recommended dosage was 6 ml per 100 pounds of bodyweight. This means, we should give the calf (500 pounds) about 30 ml of the medicine.
The mama cows are happily grazing on the pastures. The process of weaning is pretty short for them, too. They “forget” about their babies within a few days.
I have a heck of a time convincing these farmers that landscaping and flower beds are good idea. However, I somehow convinced them to hang two barn quilts on our little gardening shed. I made these as decorations for our wedding dance.In honor of harvest, I also set up a fall display. My mom set hers up this week, too. Blame it on genetics, I just love fall decorations.
Happy fall ya’ll —