About Me

I'm a ranch wife of 27 years and loving every day. We have three grown sons and have one son home to continue our ranching heritage. My husbands family has owned this ground for over 62 years and my family has been in ranching for over 70 years. I love my heritage in ranching and the strong Christian values I have been raised with and have passed to our sons. ENJOY!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sound of Silence

This week has been full of sounds that are very loud and don't really subside for several days.  You see we 'weaned'.  We brought all of our cows and calves, which is over 900 cows & calves, into our corrals.  That's a bunch of sound makers. :) We did this on Monday morning and were expecting a long night of hearing them bawl.  However, at 4:30am I was awake to an odd and unnerving sound when you are weaning.  SILENCE.  This was not a good sound on the first night of having the cows and calves apart.  Upon inspection in the early morning we found that a gate had the chain latch broke in the night and let everyone back together again.  The only sound that is worse than silence when you are weaning is the sound of a fence splintering.  We called our neighbor and friend to come back and help us out.  Each one of thought that we were in for a long day of bringing a few head to the corral at a time.  You see, cattle get suspicious when you bring them to the corral. They know something is up and usually it's unpleasant for them (although always in their best interest).  We were mounted pretty well - this isn't the time to be stressing a young colt.  My rancher hubby Cash decided to bait the cows with the caker pickup.  It has cake or cubed feed that is kinda like candy to a cow.  They followed the pickup better than any of us imagined and they all went into the corral on the first try.  :)  :)  :)  I can't tell you or express how thankful we were that it worked that way.  We truly feel it was an act of God's intervention.  :)  Anyway - that intervention continued as they resorted themselves, moms from babies rather easily.  We do it all horseback and work cattle between the horses with one person on the gate and one person horseback to block the occasional mistake. Once the cows realize we aren't trying to contain them and are letting them back into the lot, they start walking by rather calmly.  My rancher hubby and son made a few revisions to the gate that broke and by Thursday, this am we have the calves moved to another meadow where they are grazing quite contentedly.  By putting the cows in the lot and the calves back out on the meadows, they calm much easier and don't go off feed.  Most calves go back to the last place they saw mom and lay down to wait for her.  We also start the calves on a supplement feed long before we wean and that becomes like a surrogate mother to them after weaning.  They know that the feed is there and it's yummy so they go back to it when mom is no longer available.
These were the last holdouts that we hauled up to the new meadow this morning.  

We feed the cows hay in the lot while we wait for the calves to become content in the new meadow.  We will drive them to a new pasture in the morning and they will be glad to see the fresh grass.  (and yes it was raining this morning which is nice because we don't have dust to cause problems
for the calves.)

This day as I'm typing I'm realizing I'm hearing silence again.  But this time it's when I should be hearing it because the cows and calves are weaned and HAPPY!!!

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