A post from Kelli–
As many of you know, I live on a farm. Our farm is one of three that Jason and his family have cattle on. There are a few more than they have fields at, but the cattle are split between the three farms. At his mom and dad’s farm, they have about 240 milking cows that they milk 3 times a day. They also have the little baby calves there and a few steers, however the majority of the 750 steers are split between our farm and his brother’s farm.
At our farm, the cattle are split into three different sheds or buildings. All of their steers are split into age groups. As the cattle age, they are moved from pen to pen and sometimes from location to location. At our farm we often have the smaller cattle after they are weaned and then the largest steers before they are sold. We also have another shed that is often used as an in-between shed and will sometimes be used for different aged groups.
Recently, the boys have been selling off quite a few steers. They had extra space in one of the bigger pens, so they decided to move cattle from the north shed into the bigger pen as many of the steers in the bigger pen had been sold. Normally, this means that they would spend atleast half of a day loading the cattle up into a trailer, driving it to the next pen and unloading them. While it sounds quick and easy, you can only move small amount of cattle at a time, so it ends up taking a while. This time they decided to do something different–We were going to have a cattle drive.
First they set up some machinery to hopefully guide the cattle to where they were needing to go.
They used the machinery and attachments that had a large “wingspan.” I also let Puppycat out and had her tied up, joking that they would take one look at her and go the other direction, knowing that she was probably the one that would try to run! They set this up near the shed that the cattle were previously at too.
We gathered up a few people, let the cattle out, and off they went!
Both Jason and his brother helped along with another guy who works for them here and there named Derrick. They shoo’d the cattle from the pen that they were in and down the driveway. I stood at a spot that they might potentially try to run for between a shed and the LP tank. The boys brought up the tail end.
We cornered them into a small area near the pen that we would be transferring them to and let them into their new home that had been cleaned out and stocked with fresh corn stalk bales.
The best part–it only took about 5 minutes or so, which was way less than the hours that it normally takes. I asked Jason if that meant that he was going to come in early that night–NOPE! He said that it just meant that he was going to be in the shop working on stuff. A girl can only wish!
Cattle drive sounds fun. Always wanted to live on a farm. Then met a city boy at college. Oh well
Glad the drive was successful with all the good planning and “fencing” techniques. I thought for sure the story would end with the cows being spooked and running over the lawns and gardens and corn fields. I remember some of that happening with pastured cattle. Too bad the “found” time went to never ending machinery repair.
Here’s to a safe and successful harvest season in the coming months.
The cattle drive sounds like a clever way to get the job done. I grew up on a farm and the work is never done but its a great place to grow up on.