Thursday, September 6, 2012

To Market, To Market

With apologies to Mother Goose and other nursery rhyme folk:

To market, to market
To sell our fine calves
The 2012 drought
Cuts weights in halves.

OK, now you know why I don't write poetry.

We loaded 39 calves from the Rattlesnake Creek pasture Tuesday and hauled them to the Pratt Livestock sale barn for today's sale. 
This is the second year we've sold calves in the fall because we don't have enough feed to carry them through the winter. Traditionally, we've fed the calves and their mamas until spring. With feed supplies low in this second year of drought, Randy again made the decision to sell.

We are even earlier this year taking the first of the calves to market. The Rattlesnake Pasture's grass was depleted, and the guys moved them home last Friday. In normal years, Randy and his cousin leave the cows and calves on grass there until November 1 or thereabouts.
Last year, we sold calves in mid-October. We still have grass available in some of our other pastures. Time - and the forecast - will determine how much longer they can remain on grass before joining these first ones at the sale barn.

The cows stayed behind. We'll feed them through the winter, and the cycle will begin again with the 2013 calf crop, set to arrive in late January and February. Let's hope some good moisture arrives, too.
This group of cattle is in a pasture south of our house. These curious creatures came to look me over while I was walking by Tuesday morning.

I'm taking a few days away from Kim's County Line. I truly appreciate my faithful readers and will have big news to share when next we meet.

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