Shipping Day

There are certain “big” days marked on our calendar.  Every year they come around – every year the day is greeted with great enthusiasm.  Around the first of December the first calf is born.  Everyone is excited to see that first baby – every year!!  Feb. 22 the bulls are gathered and put out for the breeding season.  April 15th the calves are worked – we then have a good head count of heifers and steers for our contracts.  End of May the bulls are picked up.  Yes – that is a 90 day work schedule and then back to the bull pasture for good food – rest and relaxation.  But the biggest day is shipping day!!!  This is the day we work for all year – our pay day – one time a year. 

We prepare for weeks before the actual day.  Everything matters because it is all about the pounds and every mis-step will cost us.  There is a process of bringing the cattle into smaller pastures – each one closer to the pens as time progresses.  We have to be sure the pens are in order – loading chutes set up in one location – roads graded for the trucks – cowboys scheduled – trucks scheduled.

Even with the best laid plans – things happen.  Like the one year that we had had no rain and then at 4:00 AM just as we were getting to the barn to saddle our horses, it started raining – hard – blinding – 6 inches in a few hours.  The trucks were already headed our way – the contract was to be filled.  So we had to bring the cattle in differently and swim them across a creek that had already left its banks.  Or there was the time that we had everything ready – calves sorted – and our buyer was on the phone with the truck driver yelling at him about where he was.  The driver kept saying I am in Elkhart – the buyer kept saying you are not!!  After a few minutes of this dispute – it was determined that the driver was in Elkhart, Kansas – not Elkhart, Texas.

 This year proved equally as challenging.  The hurricane went through New Orleans leaving us on the dry – HOT side.  It was  105 degrees when we were loading out.

We loaded 3 trucks this year – one load of heifers and 2 loads of steers.  Our weights were better than anticipated – that always makes a rancher happy.  The calves really did perform well this year.  It is a great deal of work to get to this day so when buyer and rancher are pleased – it’s a good day!!

By | 2017-04-25T23:03:26+00:00 September 26th, 2012|"The Girls" - Cow Work, At the Ranch|2 Comments


  1. Mary Kay Falkner September 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Your place is so beautiful! A job well done Linda. I don’t see how you remember all those dates, but then again, it’s a business and I’m sure you keep great records. You always have. Bye cows. I wish they were going to a better place. You know me and animals. Where your daddy would make you help, my daddy would make me leave when it came time to castrating the calves. I guess he thought girls shouldn’t see that or he was afraid he’d have to explain what was going on. I think you should show some pictures of Nacho and the rest of the cowboys. Nacho would really get a kick out of that!

  2. Richard September 27, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

    i enjoy reading these. Hope TALL is going well for you.


Leave a Reply