But think about the rest of it: Wouldn't it be a sweet job to have room and board, health care and food provided for only a few months of work?
For all those fringe benefits, we do expect our herd bulls to do their job. That's why four of our bulls again went through a "job interview" last week with Dr. Dayul Dick from Prairie Vista Veterinary Hospital and Supply. (The fifth bull was the one we just purchased at Sandhill Farms production sale, so it had already been tested.)
Quality bulls are a big part of the beef business. It's a good management practice to test bulls before you turn them out into the pasture with the heifers and cows each spring. Bulls have no value if they can't perform. So Dr. Dick came to perform bull breeding soundness examinations.
First, Dr. Dick measured each bull's scrotum and examined it for defects.
He set up a mobile laboratory on the hood of a pickup, smearing a sample on a slide and looking through the microscope.
The heifers who will become first-time mothers next winter also have been getting some extra care.
This is the first step in getting the heifers to come into estrus (or heat) at the same time. These young ladies were born in early 2017. In 2019, they will become mothers for the first time.
Then it was time for the "birds and bees" to happen. The heifers were put in a pen with the bulls.
Some 283 days later, the babies are supposed to arrive. So we will expect to get our first 80-pound bundles of joy next January 28 or so.
The bulls are ready. The heifers are ready. And if all goes as planned, the miracle of life begins yet again on the County Line.