I’ve seen tons of photographs with cattle being worked. It makes me think that it must be easier for other people. There is always a large group of cattle with a large number of cowboys on great horses. The weather is always perfect…cattle always head the right direction…and I just think how much fun it is…

 

On the Diamond P we try to do most things ourselves. Our herd is still growing and most of the time we manage to get by. We have some great horses, but sometimes having horse and inexperienced little boys can cause this momma more stress than being on foot.  On big jobs we’ll call for help, but we work cattle a lot with just the boys. image

 

Case in point…a few days ago it was time to bring the herd in and sort off the fall calvers. Scott does an AI program that requires a certain series of shots that all need to be done at a specific time to ensure the cows ‘catch’ when he artificially inseminates (AI) them. We started doing this about three years ago. Scott attended the training course and has had pretty good luck. He catches between 50-75% of the cows. He uses a variety of bulls thru the AI program. It has helped us expand our genetic program pretty quickly. We turn the herd bulls in for ‘cleanup’ a few weeks later. The cows we are breeding now will give us calves born in September and October next fall.

 

During the process the cows are caught and processed thru the chute for medications 4 times in a 7 day period. To say they are a little tough to catch is putting it lightly! We had to have help from the boys.

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Owen and Cody do a great job of pushing the cows up to the corral.

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image  We finally had a solid leader and everyone was caught. We sorted off those cows we needed, gave a few timed shots and then they were held overnight for AI the following day.

IMG_1726 Everything was all ready.

 

Remember the pictures…yeah, it never happens here! The weather was bitterly cold…single digits kinda cold! Jake volunteered to help that day so the boys didn’t have to be in the cold.

IMG_1716 The girls were not exactly thrilled.

 

The little boys went out for a bit and offered moral support.

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Cows go thru one at a time but they stand much quieter in the alley if they are bunched together.

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The cows handled the process better than the cowboys this time! After 4 hours they had ’em all done. It was a long day! We will wait and turn bulls in with them in about 3 weeks. We’ll leave the bulls in for a month and then have the vet out to palpate and check for pregnancy. Once the group has their preg checks we will be close to start the process with the spring calvers. That group has more cows in it…but the work weather is much more like the perfect picture!