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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We shipped our steer calves a week ago tomorrow. After almost a week
of 60F weather, it started snowing late the night before the calves were
to be shipped. It was not too cold, but by the end of the day, it was muddy
and miserable.

The cows and calves came quickly knowing they were going
to get something good to eat.

Nice calves, huh?

Almost to the corral but there is alway at least one that
wants to make things difficult! The pair below headed for the hills
in hopes they wouldn't be missed.

Once at the corrals, we sorted the calves
off from the cows. The cows are turned back out
to pasture and the calves loaded on family and friends'
trailers for the trip to the stockyards and scale.

At the stockyards in Medora, ND which is about
23 miles from us, the calves went in groups of
ten to be moved into the scalehouse to be weighed.

This was the wildest shipping day we have known!
We were short twenty calves at one point which meant
Doug and our boys, spent an hour combing three big
pastures to find them. Thankfully, did but it put us an
hour behind time. While that was happening, one of the
guys who had brought a trailer full of calves in for us had
one escape as he opened the trailer door!! Just what we
didn't need, a calf on the loose in Medora! A couple of
the guys headed off on foot after him while the buyer's rep,
the brand inspector and myself took to our pickups to try
to get him headed back to the yard. After we roared out
after the calf, I realized that I had left my camera in the
scalehouse!! The photos I missed snapping of the whole
rodeo would have been priceless!! We had a deputy sheriff
without a clue of how to use a rope pull one out of the back of his
truck and stand there trying to figure out how to do it. A guy with his
John Deere tractor helped us box the calf in and keep him from trying to
cross the Little Missouri River or the railroad tracks.To make it even
more hilarious, some guy with a big old foxhound in the back of his truck
stopped to watch with the hound baying as loud as he could!! That is the
short version of the whole thing which was funny even as it was happening!
Still wish so much I had had my camera in my hands!!

I'm not sure which day our granddaughter, Haley, likes the
best. She loves branding time, the day we ship calves and the day
we preg test our cows. She has always be interested in what
is going on with the cattle and wanted to help. This year
she got a lesson on how our buyer's rep figured the average
weight of each bunch of calves crossing the scale.

It takes awhile to load the trucks if it is done the right way. The less stress
on the calves and us the better! It started to snow again as we were loading.

The last of 'em loaded, all that was left was to finish the paperwork
and collect our check!! After we were all done, our family and friends
who had hauled calves to the scales for us, came back to our place
to get warmed up. They also had chili, apple crisp and a good visit.

Ready to head down the road to Draper, SD.


fourwilkies said...

Your calves are looking great. Sorry you had to have a "rodeo" but that happens!

Sarah said...

Does sound like an adventurous day! But fun none the less. We had really nice weather and more importantly (to me) NO WIND when we shipped on the first of the month. Glad it all got wrapped up and dinner sounded delicious!

DayPhoto said...

Your cows are looking good. Man,I hate to work in cold like that. We had a neigbors cow to get out and run into our corn field. The wind was blowing and the snow was stinging...ugly weather.