|No. 601 would have been the 2nd baby born to the Class of 2016.|
But, in reality, the story started long before that. The feeder calves' mothers are part of our County Line cow-calf herd. Randy began building the herd back in 1970, when he was a freshmen in high school.
|Randy and his first 4-H heifer.|
As I watched the video from the sale, I tried to pick out eartags I could identify. Then, I looked in my photo files from last winter to see if I could see some of them as babies. I saw both 605 and 606 in the March 2016 photos, as well as the sale barn video.
helped us work the calves.
fed them silage and hay this winter. Last Tuesday, we sorted off 25 heifers to join our cow-calf herd. They will become County Line mothers for the first time in 2018.
On Thursday, Randy and I joined the crowd at the sale barn. From cowboy hats to ballcaps, buyers and sellers mingle in seats reminiscent of an old school gym. Cattle buyers are identified by their cell phones pressed close to their ears, as they talked with clients who needed cattle. They were on their phones as much as teenage girls.
"You like 'em now," the auctioneer warbled. "Look at the length on them, and their bigger sisters are coming right behind them."
The commentary rarely changes from year to year. Neither does a rather archaic tradition in which only the farmer/rancher is identified as the owner. Randy made it a point this year to show me the notes he was turning into the sale barn. It included both our names, along with vaccinations and paternal heritage of the calves. It probably bothers me more than it should!
Our heifers averaged 693 pounds and sold for an average of $1.22 per pound. The steers, which averaged 808 pounds, sold for an average of $1.29 a pound. (A little price comparison: In 2016, our steers averaged exactly the same - 808 pounds, but sold for an average of $1.58 per pound. Our 2016 heifers, which weighed an average of 678, sold for an average of $1.54 a pound. So, the price went down. In 2015, cattle prices were above the $2 per pound mark. Can you think of anything besides farm commodity prices that go down rather than up? Yeah, me neither.)
Randy was pleased with the 2-pound-plus-a-day rate of gain since they were weaned from their mothers last November.
While at the sale barn for hours, you find your amusements where you can. Both Randy and I laughed at this flier: