The last of the cattle went out to pasture today! Everyone looks happier and healthier. All is as it should be.
Mondays are normally part of my “weekend” but I volunteered to work. The steers needed to go out to pasture and it wasn’t as simple as opening a gate. Plus, I need as much practice working cattle as I can get. I knew this would be a good opportunity and a better use of my time than cleaning or sleeping.
The cows and heifers graze the pastures here at Wyebrook, but the steers go to a farm about 20 minutes away. That meant herding 30-something steers into the holding pen and then corralling groups of them into the trailer for Ryan to drive down to the other farm.
Ryan got them all into the pen without too much trouble. He created a path out of their current pasture into the pen and then called them, leading them to believe they were going out to fresh pasture. Sort of true, but not really. It was sneaky and effective. Then we had to get them into the trailer.
At first we tried working groups of eight, but that was too many. We’d get them close to the trailer door, they’d panic and come charging towards us and all we could do was get out of the way. The trailer has a divider about halfway back so we decided to work in groups of 4. Get four in, shut the divider, get another four in, close the door. This worked much better. Once we started working smaller groups, things went very smoothly.
While Ryan was doing the runs with the steers, Steve and I got all the cows moved, animals fed, and brooders cleaned and readied for our next batch of chicks. It was a highly productive day!