FarmingFridayWe decided to ‘take the leap’ and purchase the Red Angus heifers. They arrived at 10:30 pm on Monday. DSCN7271Waiting 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 of our nerves faded away quickly. The count was right. The heifers aren’t wild. They are at a healthy weight. They look just the way they did on the videos.  DSCN7282

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.IMG_2310As 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.IMG_2312

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. DSCN7288

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.IMG_2355In 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. IMG_2309

Happy fall ya’ll —