Yesterday morning we shipped all the beef calves off the ranch. We had a small crew of 7 ~DH and the kids, Grandpa, Clint, DK and Dave. DH did lots of prep work and had everything gathered and sorted off in order to make shipping day go off without a hitch. The recent cold snap was still lingering in the pre-dawn hours as the crew saddled up. Everyone piles on the layers and then begins to shuck them, one by one, as the temperatures rise. Yesterday, no-one shucked much. A cold wind kept everyone bundled up.
The 3 trucks were already lined up and waiting to haul off the calves. We only shipped off 169 steer calves and 61 heifers this fall. We kept most of the heifers as keeper heifers. Half of our operation is beef cattle and the other half is Corriente. We are presently building up our cattle numbers and in the process of getting everything synchronized to a 90 day breeding program.
I actually got to spend some of the morning outside after clearing up the kitchen after breakfast. I mostly tried to stay out of the way ~ photographers are notorious for getting in the way. I am still learning. Thought I would share my day with you using my favorite medium ~ photos!
The morning started out with a bang ~ literally! DH went to flip the light switch on in the medicine room
and was greeted with SNAP...CRACKLE....POP....and SIZZLE!
Everyone said that it was quite the display. Apparently fire was shooting out of the rusted openings in the tin and it sounded like an entire fireworks stash had gone off. Thank goodness we had a fire extinguisher stored there and thank goodness DH was right there. It's scary to think that we could have lost the entire barn. If it had reached the hay...yikes! I don't even want to think about it! All the old (and all of it is old!) wiring just melted.
Looks like the kids and I will be getting a crash course in electrical installation in the coming weeks.
Here's a shot of our shipping day company: The owner, the buyers, the truckers and the livestock inspecter all showed up bright and early:
This is part of the crew bringing the calves into the pens. Sure do wish I had a camera with a decent zoom lens.
The kids and Clint bringing the first bunch up towards the scales:
DK and Gary discussing who knows what...cattle would probably be a safe assumption.
Dave and Grandpa pushing the calves to the scales:Dave and DD ~ looks like there's nowhere else they'd rather be! DD lives and breathes horses and when we work, she is in paradise. The crew picks on her a lot, but she picks back!
Grandpa and DS bringing a bunch to the truck:
DS closing the gate behind the cattle and wishing the wind would stop blowing:
DH and DK making the final push into the truck:
This one loves what he does. It's quite possible that he's also grinning because I just told him that we were having Peach cobbler and Ice cream for dessert!
DH and his 4-legged partner (I'm the 2-legged one):
My favorite photo from yesterday ~ sigh!