Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Morning Drive Time

Our morning drive time yesterday didn't have a thing to do with tuning our radio station and adjusting the seats. Instead, the drive involved mama cows and their calves.

It was Day Two of working baby calves. We started the morning with a round-up at Peace Creek. With temperatures hovering around freezing, I chose the pickup for the first task of the day. Randy and Jake were on 4-wheelers to get the cattle out of Peace Creek and onto the road where they would make the half-mile trek to the corral.
The green wheat fields were just too tempting for the mama cows, who took a detour along the way. But with a little encouragement from the "cowboys" on 4-wheelers, they eventually turned into the driveway and into the corral.

After the babies' appointment in the calf cradle chute, the moms and babies are usually chauffeured back to the pasture via trailers pulled by the pickups. But this time, Randy had another idea. He decided we'd save a step and see if the mamas would follow the trailer back to the pasture.

After their "doctor's" appointments, Randy didn't think the babies could make the half-mile trek back to the pasture on hoof. After all, they'd just gotten their eagtags, their ear notches, two shots and their growth implant. The bull calves had become steers. So they still would get their chauffeur-driven ride back to the pasture.

The mamas may have expended a little energy pacing outside the fence and bawling for their babies, but they were going to have to make the trip on hoof.

The hardest part of the endeavor was loading the babies into the trailer. The mamas know the drill. But this was the babies' first rodeo. And it was a rodeo. The calves weren't the only ones tired after the guys finally got the calves loaded. 
This time, I got to ride a 4-wheeler, while Jake hauled the calves. After we got the calves loaded, we opened the corral gate, and the cows did what good mamas do. They followed their babies.
Only one of the mamas took a detour into the wheat this time. They were ready to be reunited with their babies. (It's probably a good thing. There are rules against texting and driving. Randy told me that there should probably be a similar ban on taking photos, especially since both the 4-wheeler and the camera require your right hand.)
From the human's standpoint, the experiment was a success. We're not sure what the mamas thought about their extra half-mile of exercise.

This morning, we'll be rounding up another group of cows and their babies. Spring Break 2013 continues on The County Line!

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