Fall Roundup

Gene has been working on his cattle pastures this fall, repairing old fences, building new ones, and hanging gates  so that he has more field rotation options and better grouping of his cattle.

Today he brought in a group of young stock weighing 400-750 lbs.  He enticed them in the corral area in the back pasture last evening. He had been feeding them at the corral for several weeks so that they would be easy to catch.

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He used his cattle trailer to transport them the approximate quarter-mile from the back pasture to a pen close to the barn and his  feed lot area.

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It always makes me a little nervous when they are working cattle because anything can go wrong. I mean anything.  If you remember, I do have my very own bull story and lived to tell it!  Because they are enclosed into a small area the cattle are restless and nervous.  They are very easily spooked and will do the wildest, most foolish things imaginable!  They can go under gates, through fences, over gates, get stuck in a panel or bolt for freedom.  You do not want to find yourself in a corner with no way of escape. You have to have everything thought through; all your gates lined up with the trailer properly and easy to close. Gene has given his corral area a lot of thought and the cattle usually move smoothly and without too much trouble. Today was one of those good days and all three loads were moved without incident.

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Sam is helping Gene today. Gene works his cattle quietly, moving them gently but firmly. His pen is set up in a circular movement that is natural for the cattle and he can close gates as he goes to keep the cattle from back-tracking.

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These two mama cows were very concerned that they could not get to their babies and were frantically talking about it!

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As the cattle are moved around the corral they enter a narrow chute area that takes them up onto the trailer.

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At this point you want to keep them moving fairly quickly so that they don’t have time to turn around and bolt back off the truck. When they do you have an instantly unloaded trailer and a mess as the cattle are now  upset!

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When the last one is one the truck the gate is very quickly shut and secured.

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Katie, the Border Collie, thinks she is the one who has done all the work!  She gets so excited when we are working cattle and  forgets to limp on her back leg that she injured when she ran in front of the golf cart and tangled with the wheels. She did not win!

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The mama’s watching their babies leave.

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When the door on the back of the trailer is open the calves bounded off, kicking their heels.

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Gene had the pen ready for the calves with a creep feeder full of Purina Accuration.

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A tub of Purina Wind and Rain minerals.

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A round bale of hay.  They made fast work on this bale of hay.  I took the picture several hours after the calves were moved and they had started with a full bale of hay!

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And a trough full of Preconditioning Chow to help with their adjustment of being taken from their mamas.

It didn’t take long for them to fill up their bellies.

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King of the mountain!  Just like kids, cattle love a pile of dirt.

The calves seemed to adjust quickly and did not seem to mind the move. I asked Gene this evening how they were doing and he said only two were missing mama. Most of these calves were older and had already been weaned naturally.  I remembered there were only two mamas that seemed upset when we were loading them. We are not hearing any noise from the feed lot this evening.  It should be a night of peace and quiet!

Some of these heifers will be replacements to go back into the herd. Some will be back-grounded and some of the bulls will go into the finishing feed lot with these big boys with an all-you-can buffet!  We have names for these like Ribeye, T-Bone, Burger, and Chuck-Hertzler’s Finest Beef in the making!!!

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