Nothing like being late to the party, and everyone’s gone!
I was 15 minutes later than I should have been, and the guys had already left the barn to move our first bunch of cows. And they didn’t have my my horse saddled either! 😉. I zoomed, and caught up to help them pair up.
One thing we’ve figured out… it seems to be much easier to move little bunches of cows and young calves at a time. You make many more trips, but we don’t seem to have as many wrecks!
It also provides Tess, Megan, and I opportunities to take turns, plus Jaxon and Quinlan… and even the little girls to ride home with their daddies. If you throw Johnny and Vernon in there on their four wheelers… and Reagan with a rotating adult in the side by side… we have quite the parade!
Nothing like short easy trips to instill a love of cowboying! Much better than Daniel’s hellacious first exposure at the age of five!
Even when the rambunctious steers broke away from us, and Jaxon and I had to wait for their return (He’s not quite to the “hellbent for leather” stage), He was all about learning the why’s and wherefore’s while we waited. It’s very gratifying to see the love and interest these kids have already!
While spring tries to stand firmly, upright, hands on hips, in that defiant Peter Pan pose… Winter keeps blowing her down with late snow storms and gusty winds. We are caught up in this bipolar condition… but, of course, not as badly as in early March when it was so cold during heifer calving season. The guys worked late and hard… but Mother Nature can be a nasty lady.
When you have a calf born on severe cold days… things freeze. I’m not talking of pipes. I’m talking about parts of calves. Ears. Tail. Feet. Luckily, we haven’t had any hooves fall off any calves, but we did lose some ears and pieces of tails.
Poor little thing.
Shortened ears and tails will get us lower prices at the sale barn… because who would buy the beef from such a pitiful creature? OK. That was sarcasm. Frozen ears and tails have nothing to do with the quality of beef. Yes, they may have foot problems, but they may not. The sale barn will dock the price though.
I just feel sad for the little prairie dog ears on those cold morning calves.
Although I posted this photo yesterday, I thought I might explain a bit of what’s happening.
Sometimes cows can be very thrilled to be put out on fresh grass… and forget they have a calf.
Sometimes cows can be thrilled it’s springtime… and forget they have a calf.
Sometimes cows can be … mmm… like some humans… a little spacey… and forget they have a calf.
Some calves are very young and haven’t learned to follow their mommas… and lose them.
Some calves can be thrilled it’s springtime… and lose their mommas.
Some calves can be spacey like their moms, and although they may be within 20’ of one another, they have no clue where their moms are… or where they themselves are!
If the calves are young enough, and you’re fast enough… you can bail off your horse and catch the calf by one of its hind legs. Since the calf then thinks that a wolf is trying to eat them… they bawl for momma. Loudly. Desperately. Hearing that fear laden bawl will get every cow checking on where her calf is… (Tip 1a: Don’t do this when completely surrounded by cows. You will have them in your back pocket!)
Spacey Mom and baby are reunited safely… no predators in sight.
I was a split second late with my photo… but now you have the complete story behind this cow handling tip of the day!