Posts Tagged ‘preg checking cows’

Wow – 3 posts in less than a week!  That’s got to be some kind of record for me but don’t get too excited, my life usually isn’t like this.  There is just so much going on right now that I want to share. 

Like today – we worked cattle. 

It’s that time of year when we sort off the calves, preg check the cows and decide how many are going to the sale barn.  I took two days off of work – one so I could help today and one more for tomorrow so I could go to the sale barn at Belle Fourche, SD. 

Here’s a few photos of todays adventure:

Selling calves is a pretty big deal in our family.  Our son, Morgan took off from work too.  When the boys were young we would even take them out of school to go to the sale.  When you’re born into the family ranch you’re part of the business from the very beginning. 

As you can see from this photo we prefer cattle that are easy to handle.  Of course they’re not all as curious as this one.

First we sorted the calves and yearlings off of the cows.  These are our girls.  Dr. Pete showed up at 9:00 am to preg check them and this year we came out really good – only 5 of the girls aren’t pregnant and they are probably the ones who had late calves.  Sometimes we sell the cows who are ‘open’ (not pregnant) rather than feed them all winter with no hope of a calf but since these are all really nice cows (good-looking and nice to handle) we will keep them.  There is also the chance that since we ended up with 7 late calves last spring these cows may be pregnant but just a month or two behind the others.  Having late calves can be a hassel but we usually end up keeping the little ones and then selling them in the spring as heavy calves or else the next fall as yearlings.

This is our hydraulic chute.  My brother-in-law, Scott built it and it works great. 

The yellow stick with the red ‘paddle’ on the end is a Rattle Paddle – a sorting stick that makes noise when you shake it.  They work well for sorting cattle and they’re kind of fun too.

Hubby and Paul run the cows into the chute, Morgan ran the chute,  Dr. Pete preg checked (a job – no one else wants to do) and I applied the pour-on pesticide.  And good news – since I’m kind of messy there’s a pretty good chance that I won’t have to worry about round worms, lung worms, grubs, horn flies, sucking and biting lice, and sarcopic mange mites for a while.  Wa Hoo!

The girls even seemed impressed with the new hay trailer Hubby built.

We have some of the best looking calves we’ve ever had this year.


Once we finished with the cows we sorted the calves out of the yearlings, did a couple of quick counts and then pulled a couple more small calves out of the bunch and turned them back with their mamas.

 All the cattle are looking good.

Here’s that batch of skinny yearlings we bought last spring.  They have put on a lot of weight this summer. 

Maggie got put to work too.  This is her ‘Come hither and unsaddle me’ look.

And this was our last helper – Steve.  Steve is Morgan’s new puppy.  He’s pretty young but he’s learning.  He doesn’t like the cold weather very much but he sure looks stylish in the cut off sleeve of my old sweat shirt.

By 2:30 the truck had arrived and our calves and yearlings were loaded.  A 2 hour drive to Belle and they should be settled into a couple of pens and ready for the sale in the morning. 

Sale day is always the best.  This is the day we work toward all year.  Prices have been up this year so we’ll hope for the best and see what happens.  But the best thing about sale day this year is that Morgan will be going with us and we’ll also get to see Dalton & Dani too.  I’ll be sure to take some pictures.

And of course Steve will be there too – he’s quite the social little creature even if he isn’t to fond of chasing cattle yet. 

“No.  I will not come out from under this snuggly blanket to chase cows!”



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