Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am a Lousy Cattle Woman

I always dread the round up this time of the year. Most of our fall babies (calling them babies might be part of the problem) are hauled in to our local auction yard to be sold. Usually it takes us about 4 or 5 days to gather everything from around the ranch. I guess we have been slackers because this year we got 'er done in 2. We only had 2 days because of the party we just threw for Jo and Eric. Yikes. Too busy for me.

First day I spent about 14 hours driving the little Kubota around finding cattle and then slowly coaxing them into a pen a few miles away. Boring. Mark and Cody were on the quads behind me speeding things up a bit and scouting the ranch to find herds. They put over 60 miles each day on their steeds. Last night after dark, and while Mark was on his way home from delivering the second load of calves to the auction yard, I hauled up my round pen panels, precariously perched across the back of trusty Kubota, to make a trap for some tricky cows and their calves. They watched dubiously as the pen was noisily assembled, and baited with alfalfa, then panels were arranged to form an opening I could quickly close. I was so astonished when it actually worked! I think we put the last 3 calves in at about 10 o'clock last night. So second day was 15 hours.

This morning we loaded up the last of the calves. It all went fairly well. Fairly well that is until some lousy cattle woman forgot to pin the trailer gate. I got a call from Mark a few minutes after he left to tell me that he lost half of the load. The back half. UGH. Ok, I cussed. I said a really bad 4 letter word. It felt good at the time. Then I ran down to our barn because as luck would have it my trusty Kubota was out of fuel. I saddled up Stormy to go get the calves. I thought there wasn't much of a chance but worth a try. Two of the calves (the ones we caught here) had already run the mile and a half to the barn. Mark called to say four more were warily approaching the arena where they had been loaded. After a fashion we got the calves back in the pens and then in the trailer. I am always so surprised at how good Stormy is at cutting cattle. We just trail ride her mostly, but whenever we have lost a calf or two she has risen to the occasion splendidly. And it was NOT boring! Yeehaw!

mark here: The facts are true, but I must report that Tammie's hand's MAY have securely contacted the saddle horn during some parts of the penning exposition.


  1. Great post. I know it's a lot of hard work. Betty and I worked with a real cattle outfit once, not a tourist thing, and it was a long, hard day. Remind me whenever we come visit you to tell you the story about the cattle in the trees.


  2. No Dan... I don't think I can wait to hear about tree-climbing cows. The stuff of nightmares. And to think I been wasting my time looking for mountain lions in the trees... mark


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