Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Good Day for a Haul: Taking the Heifers to Locomotive

I’ve mentioned that we like to calve out our heifers on the ranch because they need a little more help.  But at some point they need to make it down to Locomotive.  The range is the ideal place to have the calves to avoid the sickness that can travel through a herd when they are close together.  The whole kids-share-germs-like-candy concept isn’t just for kindergarteners.  Instead of a ball to pass the gems around, it is usually the mud, the straw, or the trough.  Being spread out on the range decreases the contact they have to other germs.

Eventually they will join the rest of the herd in the spring pasture, but when they first get to Locomotive they have their own range.  We haul down a little unloading ramp and unload the heifers and calves right on the range.

Cows have a funny tendency to just take off and run when they get to new pasture.  We like to hold them in a corral if one is available.  If not, which was the case this time, we just unload a few at a time and circle around them to keep them put.  This gives them a little time to mother up and find their calves before they take off.

Taking it slow to unload them might take a little longer, but it pays off to know that everything is paired up and ready to make it out on the range!


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  2. When I looked at the first two photos, I saw a tag in a left ear, then a tag in the right. I thought, Oh, they tag by sex too, but then I couldn't decide if they were both bull calves! We haven't started calving yet - a couple more weeks and I won't be getting much sleep since I'm on night duty for the heifers! We tag the boys in the right ear, girls in the left (the hired man says - boys are right, girls are wrong). He's funny!