Thursday, November 8, 2012

Herd Work before the Storm

Storm and colder temperatures are headed our way so we pushed hard the last few days getting the cows situated. We moved them to a lower elevation over two days, then worked them through our mountain corrals to receive their annual vaccinations and pour-on internal and external parasite treatment. Mark “mouthed” the oldest cows (checked their teeth) to determine which ones might be ready to go to a ranch with easier living conditions where they don’t have to walk to range each summer. He also replaced ear tags that had been lost. We separated the youngest cows and the selling cows to start home. The main herd will stay at 6000 feet for a while longer.
When we finished working the cows, we turned them out the gate and Kate and I took them up the mountain. After the manure laden ground and close working conditions of the corrals, it was a glorious sight. It’s why we ranch, those moments of watching cattle on grass. They stick their heads in the brush and come up with mouthfuls of native grass, which they love. This grazing exposes the growth points of each plant to sunshine in the spring - good for grass, good for cows, the symbiosis of nature. A creek studded with beaver ponds will provide a good drink. We’ll be back to fetch them before it freezes over.

Seth is home and helped us all three days. So fun to watch him help his Dad and Grandpa. It’s high time we got some return on our many hours of training home grown help.

At day’s end we started the young cows towards home and didn’t put them through the gate at Rawlins Creek until after dark. Booser, our part-time cowboy helper, said with his southern drawl, “Ya’ll are gonna have to get white cows if you expect me to night herd!” 

vaccinating (after Mark dropped his hat in the chute!)

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