Saturday, March 1, 2014

Work Out Machine

You may ask, "Why would you title your post, 'Work Out Machine' when it is clearly about cattle again?  Well, we'll get to that.  The weather was perfect, cold enough for the ground to be frozen so we didn't have to deal with any mud, but the wind wasn't blowing so it didn't feel that cold.  
 We overwintered all of our calves this year instead of sending the heaviest cut to the feedlot in November or December like we have done in the past.  So Friday was the day to get them in and sorted and vaccinate the ones that would be going out west in March.
 My initial job was very easy this time.  J had me hide in the tractor while we towed the calves into the barn lot.  I did have to get out to open a couple of gates, but that is nothing compared to the times I've had to run up and down the hills like a mountain goat trying to get the cattle in.
 The calves were in a couple of groups (due to a gate failure last week).  You can clearly see I'm still in my vantage point of the tractor here.
Once they were altogether, we had 124 total.
Then the sorting began.  This too was pretty painless because J already had a good idea of which heifers he was keeping.  I had 100 doses of vaccine but we only needed 90 head to go to the feedlot.  So with the 23 replacement heifers we sorted out 11 of the smallest calves to keep back but went ahead and vaccinated those so not to waste the vaccine we had to mix anyway.  
 After that group was done, they got turned back out where they had come from.
 Next, was working the other 90 head.  About the only trouble we had was getting them into the barn.  This group would just circle around like a square dance avoiding that little dark hole on the left for all they were worth.
 Now here's my workout machine.  See all of the levers.  The sequence went...Push, lift, step, step, shoot, step, step, shoot, lift, pull....repeat 100 times.  I have to admit, my shoulder is a little sore this morning.
 At least I had some distractions.  The horses would walk by the window periodically and that was always pleasant to see.  And, I only missed one.  He had rocketed into the head gate and bounced back but I had the tail gate down in time so he was still in the shoot and it was no problem then catching his head.  So and almost perfect record.
With just me and J working we finally got done but it did take most of the day.  Now these are turned out near the barn lot so hopefully they will be easy to gather up when the time comes for their trip out west.

1 comment:

Crystal said...

you need a hydraulic chute when working that many! Calves are looking good, I like the tractor job, so much better than running up and down a million hills (unless its on a horse :) )

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