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Cattle Sorting

Calves coming to see what is going on??

Calves coming to see what is going on??

Like usual I did morning chores, feeding and watering the chicks and watering the greenhouse plants. Rather tame jobs compared to what came next. Cattle sorting. Sorting cows is a heart pumping job to start any morning. Today we had to sort one of our herds to send them to summer pasture. Before heading over to the barn yard we armed ourselves with broken hockey sticks, just in case.  “You can make yourself look bigger”.  Then Jordan, Al and I headed into the barn yard to move the cows from the back into the barn. The cows however had other ideas and wanted to stay in the back so they circled around, avoiding the gate into the barn. After several attempts we got most of them in the barnyard. But we had to close the gate quickly to keep them in which meant someone had wade across the mud and manure lake in front of the gate. Luckily I was closest!! So I ran knee deep into the mud to quickly close the gate. I really wish I put my rubber boots on this morning!

We had to get the rest of the cows who were still in the back in into the barn.  They were now wise to our plan and they were less enthused about going into the barnyard, even though in the end it would mean a summer of fresh pasture. Romeo our bull was also out in the group we needed to move in and he was eyeing me up. Unlike the McKay boys I didn’t grow up working with cows my whole life and I am still nervous of what they can do. I have come along way from the first time they asked me to do something with the cows and my knees were knocking together so hard I could barely move. But Romeo was staring right at me and as soon as he moved towards me, I was off and climbed the fence. Romeo didn’t follow but I was taking no chances. The boys teased me; I hopped the fence a little too early, but in my opinion, early is better than late when a 2 ton bull is behind you.

Romeo (2nd from left)

Romeo (2nd from left) Would you wait or run?

After few more tries we got everyone in and then we had to sort out the pregnant cows from the calves and bull. We had the vet in a few days before to do pregnancy checks on all the cows and he marked the ones that were not pregnant with an orange mark. Finding this mark was rather difficult because our cows are Limousin, which is a reddish-brown cow. Eventually we got it all sorted out and we loaded all the ladies onto the trailer to bring them out to summer pasture.

I wonder what job is next?