Still, my aging reflexes and eyeglass-corrected vision helped get the job done as we sorted feeder calves last week. I ran one of the gates as we sorted the group.
These calves were a little more than a year old. They were the babies born to our cow herd during the 2015 calving season a year ago. They spent last summer at pasture with their mamas, then we sorted off the babies last fall and weaned them after a veterinarian visit. The feeder calves have been in a separate pasture, where we fed them all winter. (Click on the links for more of the calves' journey at the County Line.)
After getting them into the corral, we sorted them into two groups - steers and heifers. That's where the 20-20 eyesight would have been helpful.
Randy planned to keep 25 heifers to breed back for our herd. So, after the initial sorting, Randy again looked through the heifers, and he chose the ones that he thought had the best characteristics that we want to carry on in our herd. He looked for heifers with a straight back, good muscling, a larger frame size, good feet, a smaller head and a feminine look.
Those 25 went into a separate lot. The remaining 72 went back to the pasture until Wednesday morning, when we again brought them up into the corral.