Moving the Heifers

by Amy on June 8, 2009

Since my husband and I moved our heifer calves in the fall for the winter months, he’s been planning, worrying and wondering how we’re going to get them loaded to take to summer range. Without having been loaded much, everything we try to get them to do is difficult.
Friday, my husband, son and I took on the challenge of trailering them to what we call the Reed Place where they’ll be for the summer. They’re still wild and spooky, even with an old babysitter cow to calm them down and every step to get them moved took patience, quick thinking and a lot of bluffing.
Easing them into the corrals was the first challenge because they had a lot of room to get by us and it took about four tries before we were successful. Once we had them all confined more, we sorted out #88. She was supposed to be the babysitter cow but acted just as wild as the calves so we took her to summer range with the other cow-calf pairs. Then we had the challenge of getting the other babysitter cow’s calf caught and loaded up into the gooseneck of the trailer so he didn’t get trampled on the way to the Reed place. Plan A was to try to get him cornered enough to catch him to load, which actually worked after only two tries.
The biggest struggle was getting the heifers to load into the trailer. Having an old cow the first load helped but they circled a lot in front of the trailer before they finally went in. The goal was 10-11 heifers per load, but we ended up taking whatever we had if we were close enough. Each consecutive load of heifers was a lot of work every time to get them to go into the trailer. It took most of the day just to load heifers, drive each load to the Reed place and go back to do it all over again. The calmest one in the whole bunch was our new Saler bull. My husband was impressed with him because didn’t get riled every time we sorted a bunch off to load. It was a long tiring day but my husband was relieved once we got them moved.
We celebrated by going into town for the grand opening of Pringle’s new grocery store Saturday night. Pringle had a minimally stocked grocery store 10 years ago but the last fully stocked grocery store in Pringle was in 1973. A grandson of same family that had a fully stocked store years ago, reopened one and had a private party after hours in the back of the store for family and friends.
Despite the 45 degree weather and rain, the cream can supper (brats, chicken, potatoes, cabbage and carrots cooked in an old cream can by heating with a propane torch) and potlucked side dishes were great. My favorite part of Pringle has always been the close-knit fellowship of all the neighbors. Several families have remained in the community since Pringle’s establishment over 100 years ago.I sure am going to enjoy short trips to town from now on!

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