Monday, November 9, 2015

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

I know people want to picture cattle blissfully grazing away in green pastures. We like having our cattle grazing on green pastures, too.

But when November rolls around in Central Kansas, there aren't a lot of green pastures to be found - not even factoring in an unseasonably warm fall. So it was time to bring our cow-calf pairs home. Last Monday, the guys gathered the pairs from the Rattlesnake Creek pasture.

The next day, we rounded up and moved cattle from the Ninnescah Pasture.
There are many places to "hide" in that pasture. Randy, Jake and a neighbor, C.W., used 4-wheelers to round 'em up.

I had the important job of honking the horn.

It was our equivalent of a dinner bell ringing, since I had hay spread out in the lot.
Another of my assignments was to toss hay into the air as the mamas and babies moved closer. It was supposed to entice them to come "a runnin'."
And they did...
... ... though with the strong south wind blowing, I'm not sure they could hear the horn honk anyway.
The Hereford bull talked with his mouth full.
Once in the lot, the guys worked the cattle toward the smaller lot.
It almost looked like they were students in a kindergarten class, trying to maintain their single file row - but not quite!
We run the cattle down a lane by the old hunting cabin. We'll see how long it stays standing. I predict the purchase of additional cattle panels in our near future, since the cabin has seen better days.

They sorted the babies from the mamas.
The babies got a chauffeured ride to the farm, while their mamas went back out to the pasture until the next day. Then they, too, hitched a ride back to the farm. (It was a slower trip than planned with just one pickup and trailer. One pickup quit shifting. Thankfully, it happened at home instead of running down Highway 50!)
I was somewhat amused by the label on the trailer. Good advice!
After the doors and gate were closed and latched, it was time to leave the Ninnescah behind for another year.
We made a stop at the Kanza Co-op to weigh the trailers. We'd gotten empty weights on the way to the pasture. The calves, most of which were born in March, weighed an average of 540 pounds.
They arrived back at the farmstead, where they will dine on silage, sudan and alfalfa this winter.

What's the hurry? Your doctor's appointment isn't until this coming Thursday when the vet will arrive. More on that to come ...


  1. This time of year we find out cows are ready to "be home." Glad weaning went well on the County Line.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! Things went well, despite the pickup breakdown. There always seems to be something!

  2. At 540 pounds, your "babies" are growing fast. And they seem to know the hands that feed them! I'm glad you were able to get them safely home.

    1. They didn't gain quite as well as last year. Randy doesn't really have a good reason for that. But he was still pleased with the weight gain.