Fall was short-lived this year. It came in so pretty and promising and left quickly in the wake of the snow and wind. Oh well, we need the moisture. Honestly I love the cozy feel of the house when there is a fire going in the living room, a pot of cider on the stove and a good book with a cuddly blanket waiting for me at the end of the day.
Part of the (faux) fall that is not so warm and cuddly is the gathering and shipping process that has to happen. The mammas have been on mountain pasture all summer with their babies, watching them grow fat and happy. They are pregnant again and it is now time for them to be weaned and put out to winter pasture. Secretly, I hate this part. It’s got to be the mama in me that cringes at the thought of being separated from my baby every single year. Thankfully they don’t think of things the same way we do. Heck, they are probably relieved to not have to nurse anymore. To not have to go from cow to cow looking for her baby at the end of the day. To not have to fuss him for running away with his friends again and making her holler after him. Think of the relief her vocal chords get! She finally has “me” time. Time to reflect on deeper issues then when the next feeding is. Well, she may still be thinking about the next feeding….. Ya, she still thinks about that one, but from a purely self motivated point of view. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad for her.
And you know that the kiddos are just looking at this as a time to do whatever they want with their friends and not have to listen to their moms yell after them. Ok, so I feel much better about this whole thing already! I should have explained this process to you guys sooner! Whew, I’m glad we had this talk!
So anyway, the first step to the liberation of the cows is to get them off the mountain pastures. This can be easy or not, depending on how the cows feel like making it be that day. The more people the better. A good cow dog comes in handy here also. For this trip Jason’s dad was here for the day and his oldest brother was here for the week. For the sake of anonymity, we shall call them Jason’s dad and brother 1. That should make everyone happy that is worried about being tracked down through my blog. Aren’t I nice and considerate! (I’m going for the favorite in-law award.)
Once they get them down to the main ranch they have to sort them. Mamas in one pen, steers in another and heifers in yet another. After they are sorted, they then go through and double check to make sure they are all where they need to be. The steers ship to a different place than the heifers so they really don’t want any stragglers! They will also sort out any dry cows ( ones that are not pregnant) and shelly cows ( ones that are old and just not looking so good). The drys will go to a regular auction and the shellys that are pregnant will go to a bred-cow auction. This sorting process takes over a week.
Once they are all sorted out, the big trucks come in and take them to their new homes. That is a whole different process though with lots more pictures so I’m going to save that for another day. Hey, I have to give you a good reason to come back!
Love from here,