The time rolls around once a year where the long discussed, negotiated, and thought about calf contract comes through and the buyer is ready to pick up the calves he's buying! The work starts the night before as they gather the pairs from whatever pasture they're in and get them in close to the corrals. Then waaaaaay early the next morning they finish gathering and then sort off the cows from their calves. This is where it is not good for me to empathize with those mama cows. My mama instincts kick in and I just CAN'T BELIEVE WE ARE JUST SORTING THEM OFF AND LEAVING THEM WITHOUT THEIR MOMMY!!!! AND THOSE POOR MAMA COWS...NO BABY NURSING ANYMORE, NO LITTLE ONE TO TAKE CARE OF!!......Then I remind myself that they are cows and they probably don't even have those thoughts and after all, we are in a cow/calf operation here so we'd better sell these things if we wanna pay the bills. But I still try not to think about it. sniff sniff.
With a few separate herds scattered around, shipping was done in 2 days. The first day was lovely and warm. Susan thought maybe the warmest shipping day they'd had. It was November 1 and people were shedding layers and working in Tshirts! Wohooo!!!!
Here are the big trucks arriving to pick up their load.
Chief busy talking business.
Kory and Keithon (a friend that came to help) waiting for the next load to be ready.
Calves about to be loaded up in a trailer never to see their mommies again....I mean calves that we get paid for.
Kory and Chief sorting and counting loads
All the grandkids were there for the festivities.
All 5 kids playing inside the Ranger (jjp was in there somewhere)
More helpless, oblivious calves....... I mean our paycheck.
Constant talking and figuring and discussing. Its a big day around here.
Q checking in on Daddy making sure he doesn't need help in the corrals.
Your basketball rolls into the corrals.
And there they go!!!!
Father and Sons after a hard days work.
(they're standing in front of the scale house thingy....thats the official name)
Chief and Gram inside by the scale house. Another year, another shipping day for these 2. They've had had a few of them! The scale house is a little building thing where they put 10 calves at a time in there and they weigh those 10. They do that with the whole bunch and then average it out to get the final weight of the calves.
The second shipping day was about 2 weeks later and if the first one was warm and pleasant the second one was the opposite. When they woke up to gather the calves early that morning (on 4 wheelers I might add) it was -20 out there! By the time me and the kids got out there it was -9....so, no biggie. Actually the sky was clear and the sun was shinning and most importantly, there was no wind so it wasn't that bad.
Jaylie June helping Chief at the scales.
Me and the kids brought cinnamon rolls for the crew working.
Q and Juney got to share one.
"one bite for you....."
"....and one bite for ME!"
And that is all the pictures I took that day....I was busy eating cinnamon rolls.
Each shipping day was celebrated with a steak dinner/lunch with the crew that helped. It was a fun day to be a part of. Its our "harvest" of sorts and a day where you just can't help but think back on when those calves were born and all the hard work that the guys put in to them and how great they looked the day they shipped. Those mamas are just 3-4 months away from having another calf and the whole thing starts over again. We are thankful for a good year and for the chance to do this.