Saturday, August 24, 2013

Recieving cattle

We are doing things in August that we should have been doing in May. We finally got some rain and need to take advantage of our grass and water, something we haven't had in 3 or 4 years.
 We use a cattle buyer that makes 3 to 4 sales a week to purchase calves to our specifications. He is well worth the money, as we end up with a lot more even set of cattle than if one of us were there. Buying is his livelihood, and he's good at it.
 We meet at the pens at daylight every morning and process whatever Sam has bought us the day before. Some days it's 7, some days it's 70. The calves get all there health shots, a brand, and a fly tag. We then turn them out in a 5 acre lot where we gentle them down, and watch for sick ones for a few days, before we move them to their permanent pastures.
 As late in the year as it is, we have been buying bigger calves than normal, these are weighing 635 lbs. The bigger ones do straighten out and are able to start gaining weight a lot quicker.

Gentling them down

We call gentling them down "gittin a comere on 'em". It sure makes life easier when you do turn them out. Some of these calves haven't had much human contact, and are pretty bouncy when they get to us. I usually hold them in a corner for a while. They start out looking away and for a way out of the corner. I fool around on the perimeter of their circle as slow as possible, keeping the runoffs in the bunch and singing Tibetan monk war songs to them. ( just kidding on the last part ). Sooner or later they will all turn around and face  the horse. When they follow the horse when I walk away, or I can ride behind them without them running off, they are usually ready to move to pasture. Slow is the key, and it won't work using a crowd of cowboys. 2 horses maximum, and the the other guy better be as slow as you are.


  1. Slow is the only way. And the less cowboys the better. Its usually me and my hubby who do all the cattle work. All on horses. They seem to respect the horses more then a 4 wheeler. You get those jackass cowboys that whooray them! UGH! Start sortin heifers from steers Monday! YEAH!

  2. Yep. I'd rather need an extra hand than have 1 too many.