Good Monday morning to all you critter and land loving people! As promised I am back with some musings and maybe some amusing thoughts about preg check day on the Conry ranch. My in-laws currently run a small cow-calf operation. These cow/calf pairs run on summer and winter lease ground in the Black Hills and some in Montana. So this past week everything was brought home to sort and get settled onto winter ground. This is the time of year when preg check is done, to see what the future calf crop is shaping up to be.
So the big day was coming quick and Clay and his dad worked hard to prep corrals and get things just right, making it easier for the vet and several friends to come help. The afternoon before I get a call while in the grocery store asking if our two oldest boys would like to come help move cows. “Why sure! Be there in ten!” Unloaded at Grandpa and Grandmas-one big boy with Grandpa-one with dad-two littles loaded up with Grandma and mom in feed truck to go round up. Cows just have to come across the road-we’ve got this! Guys take off and we bounce in behind them. Things are going great…but calves have a different idea, they like the water and don’t care to cross the road. It is getting darker, shorter days are not always a ranchers best friend. Well, after a really good try the majority of the herd is on the road, and the decision is made to push them back in as dark has fallen. It will mean less stress on cows not to have them all spread out for the night, no go…but I do have to say cell phones have probably saved some stress on marriages while working cows…God bless technology…some days. In all the back and forth cows are a lil worked up and kids are starting to be over the adventure. Both big boys did awesome and the littles learned how to call the girls (cows in general) home-memories were made.
Black cows back in off the road, all but one. Pull out of the pasture and the feed truck dies on the side of the road. Kids are REALLY over it-and getting a lil hangry, I recognize that look anywhere…yikes. They get it from their father, they can’t help it and he can’t deny it. No worries-I will walk back up to the house and snag a set of jumper cables and my vehicle. Our dear family friend takes pity on the kids and gets them back up to the house to play while they wait. Feeling rushed to get the truck off the side of the road I decide I can jog back-its a stone throw away(which is all the further I can jog) smiling and starting to think I will be part of saving the day. I am slowly jogging along when I hear crunching on the gravel that is not me…wait…what? I am a big girl and know the boogie monster is not a thing or hasn’t been since I was five, but a big black cow running at you in the dark-same thing! I head toward the ditch and holler at her to keep going, last one in phew, all is well. Pickup is back up and running, next morning gathering went much smoother. Preg check day was underway, all went well. One tip I have from the day itself is-folks go buy yourself some tarps. The home corrals have never worked this many cows in a single day. You can check out my pictures below to see the gates are wrapped in blue tarp. It helped to create less confusion for the calves and the flow was awesome. Clay said about the day, “I have never had so much fun working cows here at home.”
Closing thoughts about the whole process: family time-this is the time my kids will remember. Good friends that let you borrow their ideas are wonderful, and neighbors that come help out all day are priceless! Good weather in November is a blessing and if you feel the need to take a jog in the dark-I hope you run Charolais…Until next Monday-blessings to you, yours, and your operation.