Cattle Round Up - Part 1

It’s that time of year again when we move our cattle from the summer pasture to the winter pasture closer to home. Our fall cattle round up is basically getting them all collected into the corral at the pasture, sorting the calves from the cows, and finally loading them on semi-trailers for the ride home.  We don’t have the manpower or horses to round up our cattle, so we lure them up into the corral with molasses flavored grain. They love it and would walk miles for a taste. For a few weeks leading up to the round up, we call them up to the corral and then feed them grain several evenings each week. Soon, they learn that coming to the corral means getting to eat grain, and by the day of the round up, all we have to do is drive around the pasture calling them and they follow us up to the corral. So on Saturday evening, we drove around the pasture calling the cows who were spread out all over the 200 acres.

Calling cows is not like calling your dog. Cows have to think about it.

Weigh their options.

Explore their inner psyche before they coming running.

So there has to be a lot of calling and honking the truck horn, about a half hour’s worth, to get the desired result.

But finally we had a good procession of cows, calves and bulls following along as we headed towards the corral.

When we reach the corral,

Harland filled the troughs,

and while everyone was sucking up grain like vacuum cleaners,

the corral gates were closed,

and the cattle had been rounded up and weren’t even aware of it.

The following morning we were up before sunrise to sort the cattle and load them onto semi trucks. But that’s a post for tomorrow.

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——->UP NEXT: Getting the cattle sorted and loaded onto the trucks: A delicate dance with 1000 pound animals.

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20 comments to Cattle Round Up – Part 1

  • Sandra

    I have enjoyed your blog. reminds me of being a young girl on our ranch. I’m a big city girl now but you know what they say. Good luck on your roundup.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you Sandra,
      I know, you can’t take the country out of the girl can you? Glad to share some memories with you.
      I grew up in the country too, and lived for a time in town. I hated it.

  • Chester's Mom

    Oh you bring back great memories. Your pics are so great, please don’t stop. Your blog makes my day!

  • So much fun to read! I know I’m going to sound weird when I say this…but I love cows…I think they have the most beautiful eyes! Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing

    • Suzanne

      Hi Foodies At Home,
      Oh no, not weird at all. They all have different personalities, some nice, some mean. And their eyes are the prettiest ever. I took some close-ups of their eyes this weekend, and will share those tomorrow.

  • Wow, it would be so nice to get to work outside in the country. I’m not sure I could handle the “before sunrise” starts, but that prairie looks amazing! Great pics!

    • Suzanne

      Hi Julie,
      I don’t care for the before sunrise thing either. When Harland tells me we have to get up early for a particular job the next day, I try to talk him out of it. I’ve never succeeded. I’m not a morning person, but he is.

  • Doe of Mi.

    Guess I’m curious as to how many cows you rounded up? I was brought up on a 200 acre farm and we had maybe 12 milk cows. They all had names like blackie, blondie, and strawberry. So it was not like your ranch. But, I loved it and could go out in the field anytime and pet a cow. Except for one who was a mean ole’ bag and you had to watch your back. We also had a bunch of barn cats. So want to thank you for the memories again. Live close to the city now where the “yard” is much easier to take care of! LOL

    • Suzanne

      Hi Doe,
      Thanks for sharing your memories.
      We have about 50 cows, and with the 50 calves and the bulls, it was about a hundred. We only have one pet cow, Dolly. We bought her from Harland’s nephew in May. She’s half Angus, and half Holstein. A strange combination, and it makes for a funny looking cow. But she loves to be petted. I’ll have pics of her tomorrow.

  • shelljo

    My Dad’s a cowboy. Instead of using the horn to call the cattle, he yells–a blood curddling, makes your hair stand on end yell. It must carry for miles, because before long, here come the cattle! I’m glad you got a couple of shots of the cattle following the pickup. That used to amaze me as a girl–how the cattle just calmly followed the pickup knowing it meant food.

    • Suzanne

      Hi Shelljo,
      Wow, that’s pretty neat how loud your dad can yell.
      And it’s pretty convenient about the truck. Just goes to show, even a cow can be trained.

  • I love your cows…they are really looking good.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

  • I just love all those pictures, and you certainly do know your cattle–hmmm, do I really want to walk all the way up there, or if I wait can I get them to bring it to me???

  • […] semi-trucks holding our cattle headed down the road towards home.  (You can catch up by looking at Part 1 and Part 2)  We followed along in our pickup, made a stop for gas, and when we got home, the first […]

  • aw, those cows are so cute! Harland probably doesn’t look at them as “cute” I’m sure, but maybe you do. I just love how you said that it isn’t like calling dogs because they have to think about it! I love that! It just makes them more endearing to me!

    • Suzanne

      Hi Bonnie,
      And they have the most comical expressions too. They look so blank, and you wonder if anything is going on upstairs. But if you’re around them for a while, you find they’ve got smarts. I get attached to them. Cows that don’t have a calf in a given year are sold. After all, it’s a business, and everyone has to pull their weight, but I bout cry every time Harland says he’s going to sell some cows off. He looks at me like I’ve lost my mind. I explain that it’s not their fault they didn’t get pregnant and need another year to try again. To no avail. Business is hard.

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