My calves are old enough to become mothers next year. I've been told that first time cows could have a better chance of problems giving birth. But I decided to give it a go next year.
One heifer (Number 07) is definitely large enough and would be a good candidate to become a mother. The other heifer (number 55) is Beulah's daughter. She is just big enough. She was the largest heifer in the Spring but over the Summer 07 passed her in size. Why? I don't know.
|Beulah (right) and Beulah's daughter (left).|
Usually Dan and I hire Evan to haul our cattle to the auction. But because we had less cattle to sell this Fall we decided to each haul our own cattle the day before the auction.
Dan was worried about getting the herd into the corral so we could sort out the cattle going to the auction. But I have done this before and had a way that works. I have them in the hayfield with the water trough near the corral. I feed them a few apples each day. I locked the cattle and horses out of half of the corral and let the grass grow inside it. The morning I want them in the corral I lock the horses out of the entire corral and open the corral gate. I then stand with my bucket of apples.
Works every time.
Once I got the cattle in the corral by 7:30 am I called Dan. He come over with his truck and stock trailer. I didn't have him come over earlier as he and his trailer would distract the cattle.
Once Dan came we sorted the cattle between the ones going to Missoula and the ones staying. The sorting took a little time as we didn't really push them too much to go in one or the other side of the corral. Buddy the bull warranted special treatment. I have three gates between the two sides of the corral. Buddy didn't want to go through the middle gate. He walked over to the east gate which I then opened for him and he ambled on through.
Once we got the cattle going to the auction on one side of the corral we moved them to the loading corral. Then we sorted my cattle into the smaller part of the loading corral and then loaded them into my trailer.
Then we loaded Dan's six cattle into his stock trailer.
|Herding Dan's cattle|
We left at 9:18 am. It had been almost an hour and a half of sorting and loading even though it didn't seem that long.
My pickup is more for gas mileage over power. Therefore we drove around the east side of Flathead Lake to avoid the hills on the west side. The distance from my place is about the same.
I led and Dan followed. He got delayed getting onto one highway but I wasn't concerned as his more powerful pickup could catch up. I passed Bigfork. No Dan. I had gotten every light as green and did not have traffic slowing me down. Two thirds the way down the Lake I pulled over onto a long gravel area along the highway and waited for Dan. He showed up a couple minutes later.
The rest of the drive to Missoula was pretty uneventful. We did have two long steep hills to go down. The cattle had been behaving but after getting down the first long hill they began milling around in the trailer and I could feel them move. Then looking back at the trailer I could see its end starting to move more and more side to side. Before it could begin to fishtail I slowed way down then sped up a little bit. The cattle settled down and the trailer stopped its side to side movement.
It took two and a half hours to reach Missoula. Even though the speed limit a good amount of time was 70 mph, I usually drove 60 mph and 65 only at times.
A half hour to unload our two trailers and then the drive back to Kalispell. I told Dan to go ahead and not wait for me as I would be alright. We were close until the first big hill. He could power up and I struggled to drive 40 mph up the hill. He was gone by the time I got to the top. Otherwise the trip back was uneventful.
Prior to Tammy joining me the few times I hauled cattle something or another would happen each trip: sticking trailer brake, flat tie on the trailer, broken catch. Once Tammy joined me on trips nothing bad happened. I wondered if something would go wrong on this trip since my good luck charm Tammy wasn't along, but nothing happened. Maybe Dan coming along part of the time kept the bad luck away.
Once I got home I spent quite a bit of time washing out the trailer as the inside was covered deep in manure.
|Rubber floor mats from the stock trailer|
|Daisy inspecting the clean trailer|
I had left the hayfield gate to the south part of the corral open and the cattle ate most of the tall grass down. They we laying in and just outside of the corral. Buddy the bull was standing and calling for the missing cattle. Some of his subjects were gone. He spent quite a long time calling.
|Buddy checking out one of the cows|
|One of my cows|
|One of Dan's cows I would like to buy|