Sand Hilling Cows

I’m sure she was telling me about moving cows… or something she did… but the motors were too loud, so I just nodded my head, and drove on.

Brandon and family were moving their cows… Megan and Quinlan in the pickup, tempting them on their way.

It reminded me, that a while back, I was going to tell you about Sand Hilling cows.

Vernon came in for lunch one day and I asked what he’d been up to.

“Sand Hilling cows” was his answer.

“What? … Oh! SAND HILLING COWS! Gotcha.”

We’ve talked about it for years, but we don’t have a good set up for Sand Hilling cows. We need one… but until we win the lottery and can build fence and move sheds… it’s probably not going to happen.

Are ya curious yet?

The Sand Hills are located in Nebraska (also spelled Sandhills). Lots of ranchers around there are known for the Sand Hills calving method which basically states that… for example, your 100 head of cows are calving… to reduce all the bad things that can make baby calves sick… after the first 30 cows calve… you move the remaining 70 to an adjoining pasture. That leaves the first thirty behind with their germs.

Another 25 calve… leave them in that pasture, and move the remaining 45 to fresh pasture. Each time you’re putting new babies on what should be “clean” ground. You continue to do this for as long as you have space!

We have done this in minor ways, but our setup doesn’t really support multiple moves. The method supposedly cuts down on illness so it would be a great thing to do…

Anyone want to come build fence?

Once everything is calved out, though, like Brandon’s bunch… it’s just moving cows… not Sand Hilling them anymore!


Sand Hilling Cows — 7 Comments

  1. That first picture just melts my heart! There’s something about Daddies with their girls and then you add the dog leaning in… just too sweet.

  2. I kinda had an idea it had to do with sand hill cranes and the cows. No. Just their staging area. Thanks! I learned about clean ground too.

  3. That is an interesting technique and make a lot of sense regarding the spreading of germs. Bit like ‘back in the day’ being put in the isolation ward in hospital.

  4. The sand hills are a special kind of place, Have you ever visited the Flint Hills in Kansas? another vast grassland full of cattle!

  5. I think I get it (Sand Hilling) but not sure…does that mean that all of your cows and calves stay together in the same area? I may need a little more help on getting it. ;-O

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