Working Cows

by Amy on November 14, 2010

DSC_2024.jpg Working cattle picture by RanchSlants

Working cows in t-shirts is not normal around here. For years we’ve had to dress in long johns, warm clothes, coveralls, hats and gloves to keep warm. We worked cows October 22 this year and the weather was warm enough that most of the crew peeled off their jackets and worked in t-shirts.

DSC_2010.jpg the boss running the head gate picture by RanchSlants

DSC_2009.jpg vaccinating cows picture by RanchSlants

Since the vet was already booked on the Saturday we were hoping to work our cows, we had to take a Friday instead. It meant we’d have a smaller crew helping us and the work would take longer to get done. The cows knew this and did their best to make the job more interesting. One of the heifers tried to show off and busted the top board of our corral fence during one of her stunts.

DSC_2025.jpg broken fence board picture by RanchSlants

This is a common sight on the day we work cows.

DSC_2027.jpg cattle workin' beverages picture by RanchSlants

DSC_2028.jpg a common scene on vaccination day picture by RanchSlants

You could call it incentive in a can for friends and neighbors to help us.

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There was plenty of beer to drink for our small crew when the guys had time to get one out. They worked pretty steady.

DSC_2037.jpg the bar picture by RanchSlants

This is the vet’s desk but a lot of other people use it too.

DSC_2018.jpg the vet's desk picture by RanchSlants

She brought up a new chute and our cows broke it in for her.

DSC_2041.jpg breaking in the vet's new chute picture by RanchSlants

This is the gathering crew.

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They bring a small bunch into a smaller corral

DSC_2011.jpg the wild bunch picture by RanchSlants

DSC_2017.jpg gettin' ready to go up the chute picture by RanchSlants

and run them down the alley towards the chute.

DSC_2013.jpg alley up to the chute picture by RanchSlants

It never fails that there’s always one or two that’ll just stand around while the rest do all the work.

DSC_2021.jpg standin' around picture by RanchSlants

The cows were difficult to get into the corral but once they were let out, instead of leaving they would stand around.

DSC_2038.jpg "O" for open picture by RanchSlants

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This year we replaced all of our cows’ eartags with new ones.

DSC_2034.jpg the old ear tags picture by RanchSlants

Instead of yellow, we switched to black eartags with white numbers. Our ranch has used yellow eartags since before my husband and I got married but over the years other ranches in the area have started using yellow tags occasionally and my husband decided it was time to go with a new eartag color that no one else uses.

The advantage to a smaller crew was that I didn’t have to make such large quantities of food to feed everyone but the amount of time it took me to cook everything was still the same. When it got close to noon, my kitchen help and I hurried and got everything ready to serve, then had to keep it warm for another two hours. We eventually decided to drive the five miles up to the corrals to see how if the guys were done and just BSing or if they were still working. The work just took longer with a smaller crew and uncooperative cows. Around 2 o’clock everybody filled a plate and sat at tables in our front yard. After the guys have been on their feet all day, they were ready to sit down and eat a hot meal and have a beer.

DSC_2047.jpg after dinner picture by RanchSlants

This is a typical scene after dinner.

DSC_2045.jpg a happy dog picture by RanchSlants

DSC_2048.jpg long day picture by RanchSlants

After being on my feet in the kitchen for a couple of days in preparation, it’s the part of the day I look forward to the most.

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