Spring Cattle Move

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Our cows and young calves have spent the last couple months in our spring pasture. But there’s not enough grass for them to summer there, so we recently moved the majority of our cattle to the summer pasture. Moving cattle is an all day event for us starting early in the morning and continuing all day.

Rounding them up out of the spring pasture is done with a couple of 4-wheelers, but this year we had help from the most unlikely source. When the guys (Harland and his brother) went to the pasture to get the cattle up, they were already waiting at the gate. A welcome, but very odd sight. Turns out the cattle had been scared up into the top of the pasture by

you’ll never guess:

A pair of Canada geese.

That’s right.  A pair of birds.

The unfamiliar sight of 2 honking flapping geese had terrified the cattle and they went as far as they could to get away from them – only being stopped by the gate.  I said to Harland that we need to train some geese to round up cattle for us every year.

After getting the cattle out of the spring pasture, the calves were sorted from the cows into different pens. The cows are much larger and when we work them they can panic running over everything in their path including their own calves, so the cows are separated from the calves first off before we do anything else.

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They can see and smell each other, but they call to one another as if they are separated by 100 miles:

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The bellowing is non-stop, deafening, and goes on all day.

Sorry dears, but it’s for your own safety. You’ll be back together soon.

Next, we give both cows and calves their vaccinations. Then the cows are loaded into a hired semi-truck, while the calves are loaded onto our stock trailer. Finally, we set off on the road for the summer pasture.

Hauling our cattle on the highway is one of the more nerve-wracking parts of the day. What if there’s a break-down or accident? It’s my worst fear. And this year we did have a problem on the highway. As Harland and I were driving along pulling the stock trailer full of our little calves behind us, we heard a loud KA-BOOM. Harland gripped the wheel tightly and pulled over onto the shoulder.

We had a blow-out on the trailer. Of course it was on the driver’s side. So we hurriedly changed the flat while cars and trucks whizzed past us. In about 15 minutes we were back on the road. We kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have another flat since we had used our only spare.

When we arrived at the pasture, the driver of the semi had already unloaded the cows into a pen just inside the gate. We backed our trailer up to the adjoining pen to unload the calves.

C’mon, climb up on top of our stock trailer with me, and watch as the calves are unloaded. The second-best part of the day is to see the cows and calves reunited and this is the best seat in the house:

The best part of the day? When we open the gate and let everyone loose into the vast pasture full of lush green grass, shade trees, and running water.

Come back soon and I’ll show you.

oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

10 comments to Spring Cattle Move

  • Glenda

    I almost got dizzy watching the calves come out of the trailer! I did notice some developing tenderloins though on some of the older calves. Already putting on some nice muscle. So sorry about the flat. It is a long drive so many things could happen along the way. So glad no errant driver took Harland out while changing the flat tire. That is always a risky business!
    Looks like you had a good weather day to get in the move. Have the rains hit your pasture well enough to discount last years drought?

    • Suzanne

      Thanks Glenda. The pasture does look better this year, but we are still behind on moisture down there – more so than at home. We’ve received more rain at home than down at the pasture. But so far this year is shaping up to be a more normal year with regular rains.

  • Lorraine

    Thanks for the film footage. You were my break for the afternoon. Loved the film footage. I’m a farm girl wannabe.

  • Oh, my goodness! I’ve heard cows and calves when you separate them for weaning, but never this many at one time!!! What a racket!!

  • Martha L

    Wow. That is loud! I am glad everyone was reunited. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jeanne

    I really enjoyed the video as well as the story and accompanying pictures! Thanks! I had no idea you would have to do all that in order to move them all. That was too bad about the flat tire, but at least it wasn’t any worse! I can understand what you mean about the ongoing MOO. MOO. MOO. MOOOOOO!!

    Jeanne <

  • Loved this! It amazes me how they are able to find each other in the crowd…especially since most of them look identical to me! This would be a case where a spotted face would be a benefit, for sure! 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, how sweet to see they calling for each other, even if it is kinda noisy.

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