Cow Work–Family Style

On Saturday my husband, Joe, organized a day of cattle work.  There was a group of 89 cows and their calves that needed to be fly-sprayed, dewormed, vaccinated, tagged and paired up.  We started just after daylight with a horse posse of three riders to gather in the cows from the hundred acres they were scattered over.  The horse work went well.  We started in the front pasture and pushed them to the southeast corner, shutting off three gates to keep them from turning back.  Then we made our way to the far back pasture and flushed them out of there.  Once we had those two pastures cleared and gates shut, we funneled them into the working pens.  By that time, Joe and his crew (which included our 22 month old daughter) had arrived on the Kubota ATV and help set gates and push the cattle up on foot into the pens.  The horse crew rode back to the horse pasture across the road to turn the horses out and met back at the cattle pens to help work the cows and calves. 

It was pretty good weather for the work.  It started off in the 60s and clear and only warmed up into the low eighties.  So the cattle held up fine and the workers weren’t overeated either.  We had a great crew with family and friends–a total of twelve different folks were there throughout the work day.  Pop was in charge, Joe was cattle manager, Tommie helped with chute work, Joe’s sister Lucy made tags and her kids and husband stopped by as well.  My dad and Brent rode on the gathering posse and sorted the cows in the pens.  I just did what I was told and tried to fill in where I could.   It felt great to have all that help and support.  I know I enjoy the chances I get to help on the farm and to be able to spend time with family and friends was icing on the cake.  The cows cooperated well and the calves weren’t too bad either.  

Our little girl had to go back with Joe’s sister for a nap break mid-morning but they came back later with renewed energy and helped us pair up the tagged calves with their mamas.  She followed up her hard work with a dip in the creek.  I got a picture of her throwing rocks in it but I missed the shot of her deciding to go swimming in a deeper part.  “I swimmin’ in the creek!”  Joe followed her around in the water while she splashed around on her belly fully clothed.  (He discovered his boots weren’t as waterproof as they used to be.)  The only fussing we had all day was when it was time to get her out of the creek.  “No, wanna swim in the creek!” 

I know my husband was glad to get all this work done.  Sometimes it’s just too hard to get the time and help you need to get everything done around the ranch.  It was a solid eight hour work day and we didn’t get lunch until 3:30 but it was one of those days that give you a feeling of accomplishment and that good tired you get from a day well worked.  I think everyone involved enjoyed being there and helping even if they had to work hard.  Thanks to all of our family and friends!

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