We have been really busy. Tuesday – two weeks ago we sold our calves. Yes – it was 2 months earlier than usual, but we had not had any rain for almost 30 days – not a drop – and temps over 100. The pastures were getting bare and our ponds and creeks were starting to dry up. We truly are making decisions on a day to day basis – praying for rain every waking moment – praying we won’t have to completely liquidate our herd. First step – sell all our calves.
We started over the week-end trapping the cattle into smaller pastures. On Monday we were on horseback to push the bigger herds into traps. No grass – so we had to put out hay for their overnight stay – made sure they had access to plenty of water. We were on our horses before the sun came up on Tuesday morning and rode out in the dark. We were trying to get ahead of the heat – we lost that battle very quickly!!
While we were riding out – Gary went to Eldorado Chemical to weigh the trucks. The trucks are weighed empty – then we load – then the trucks go back to the scales to weigh – we are paid on the pounds of beef on the truck. The trucks are to be back at the pens ready to roll after we finish the sorts. Once everything is penned, we sort the calves from the cows – then we sort the heifers and steers – and then one last cut to keep replacement heifers. Every sort is costly – every time that calf is stressed, we lose pounds. So we work as efficiently as possible. But these are cows we are talking about – so there are plenty of “moments”.
This year we had our scales “certified for trade” so we weighed the light steers before they got on the truck. This gave us a better indication of our weights. Next year we can probably weigh everything at the ranch.
Well – our calf crop is sold. We do have some replacement heifers that we kept to sell. The dust really flew the day we worked. The pens stayed in a fog of dust for days. But God answered our prayers – a few days after we shipped it started to rain. It was one of those light soaking rains – showers off and on for several days – totaled 1.5 inches. Thank you God for the rain – cooler temperatures – and settling the dust!!