Much the same, the journey with this crop of feeder calves didn't start and end on one day in March. The calves were born on the County Line more than a year ago, and we have been caring for them ever since. The sale ends one chapter, but the next one has already begun with a new crop of 2015 calves. It also continues with 25 sisters to the yearlings we sold last week. Those 25 heifers will be producing part of our 2016 calf crop.
So the legacy continues. Every day is Ag Day around here, whether we're doing farm work or living everyday life in a rural Kansas community.
We were at Pratt Livestock last Thursday to sell 73 feeder cattle.
According to the sing-song chant of the auctioneers, the buyers undoubtedly were searching for "fussy and fancy heifers" and "green steers."
"There's power in the blood, boys," the auctioneer warbled, touting their lineage. "Look at the length on them, and their bigger sisters are coming right behind them."
The cattle turned in circles in the sale ring, reminding me of my hubby and me at a wedding dance, staying in our own little box.
Ours were among them, though, thankfully, we didn't have any of the "party girls" that ended up coming through the sale ring twice. (As heifers come through the sale ring, they are guaranteed open, in other words, not pregnant. If the buyer requests it, the heifers are evaluated by a veterinarian. Any that are pregnant are sent back into the ring and sold again so the buyers know what they are getting.)
Our steers averaged 904 pounds apiece. Since we retained 25 of the bigger heifers to breed back for our own cow herd, the heifers we sold were smaller, averaging 746 pounds each.
It was a long day at the sale. We got there just after 10 AM, but our heifers didn't sell until nearly 12:30 PM. It was almost 6 o'clock when our steers went through the sale ring.
But it was worth the wait as we picked up the check.
It isn't just a long day on sale day. Selling feeder cattle is a process that's more than a year in the making. The feeder calves were born to our heifers and cows during the winter of 2014.
cold and snow, they grew next to their mamas' sides.
|Mama at top and baby below at the Ninnescah Pasture in May.|
brought them back to the farm in early November and weaned them from their mothers.
visit with the vet before taking up residence in a small pasture closer to home.
fed them silage and hay.
the semi came and picked them up for their ride to Pratt Livestock.