Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Calf Working - Get 'er Done!

8 X 6 Oil on Masonite
I attended a cattle working at a friend's ranch yesterday. This friend is in a position where he no longer has to risk his own neck to get the rough jobs accomplished - he can afford to call in the experts. In our neck of the woods, the ranchers like to call Barry Clower when they have a bunch of calves to "work". Barry rounds up his buddies - all good hands with ropes and horses - and they show up and get the job done - efficiently and usually safely.
I pulled up in front of the working pens yesterday morning around 7:30 am. It was an overcast, dreary morning, and over 60 momma cows and their fat calves and two big bulls were already penned and in the process of being separated.
By 10:30 all the calves were roped, inoculated, ear tagged, wormed and the bull calves castrated. Mommas received their shots and worming, and several were branded. One older cow had her teeth checked and was declared good enough to go another season, and the heifers with first calves were hauled off to a separate pasture for extra feeding. I estimate that in all about 125 animals were handled - with minimum stress and with no permanent injuries. Only one cow came up dry (no calf) which I consider pretty good stats for a herd of over 60 cows. It says a lot for Brahman/Hereford cows. Good breeders and good mommas. And when you cross 'em with a Charolais bull you get some really nice calves.
These two paintings are designed to hang together or separate. I'll show them framed together in tomorrow's post.
Deuteronomy 8:3
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

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