Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let's Sort Heifers!

Thursday after we got feeding done, we went over to help Herry Ford and Mouse sort heifers.

  Since around December the little heifers (meaning 2011's) and the bred heifers (meaning those born in 2010) have been hanging out over by Herry Ford and Meadowlark's house.  One of the first things The Man did after we moved here was to help sort out the little bulls, the little heifers, and the bred heifers.  The bred heifers got some shots, then the little bulls got moved over by "Grandma's house" (that's a part of the ranch, but grandma is long gone), while all the heifers got turned out together. 

Since calving is fast approaching, it was time for the bred heifers to be sorted and separated from the little heifers.  The little heifers got weighed, while the expectant ladies got their second set of shots to prepare their calves for a healthy appearance.

When Pk, The Man, and I arrived, Herry Ford and Mouse were bringing them up to the corral...

If you click the picture to look at it bigger you can see an orange dot in the middle of the herd......that is Mouse's melon (head).  She's on the 4wheeler, bringing them in....you can't see Herry Ford, but he's back there too....

Once they are all in the big corral the sorting begins........Mouse is chief sorter.  Herry Ford calls her the computer because she truly knows every cow on the place.  She can look at most of them and tell you who they are out of, even without them being ear tagged!  Mouse is sorting bred heifers from little heifers, while Herry Ford runs the gates.....

After the little heifers are sorted out, I sprang into action.  Herry Ford runs them in groups up on the scale and I go in the scale house and weigh them.  After I get the weight, Herry Ford lets them off the scale and counts them.  We write that down, and when we are done, we tally up the total weight, and total number weighed and get an average.  These little ladies averaged 631#'s.  We are done with them now, so Herry Ford herded them all back out to pasture........

Now you see The Man and PK sorting bred heifers.  They don't really have to be sorted, just penned in groups of 9.....

The corrall is divided up into four basic sections.  The big corral where the herd hangs out, then there is a smaller pen, an even smaller pen, and then the chute pen.  In the picture below you can see the big corral, and the smaller holding pen.  What they do is this........run a bunch into the bigger holding pen, then sort 9 out into the smaller holding pen, and 9 out into the chute pen.....

The chute gets opened up and 9 cows make their way in......of course at times they are a bit resistive to this procedure and must be poked, prodded, and cajoled into the chute.  Once those 9 are in the chute, Mouse and Herry Ford get started stickin' cows!

They are very fast cow stickers and the 9 cows are usually in the chute less than 5 minutes......

After all 9 cows have gotten a dose, they are let out of the chute and the next nine are brought in.  Meanwhile, The Man and PK keep penning them up 9 at a time to keep things moving along.

Once all the pregnant ladies were tended to and looked over, they were turned back out to await the arrival of the new babies!  They are now in an adjacent field to the 268 little heifers.  This way when it comes time to haul them to the calving shed, we don't have to sort them out again.

Till next time...........God Bless......


  1. Looks like a good set up. Best thing going fro bred heifers and a nice quiet way yo manage them

    1. It really is a nice setup. While it's still a bit stressful for them, I think it's as stress free as it is possible for it to be! Thanks!

  2. I am really lovin your blog these days. Where you lives looks cold (my kind of hell) but very beautiful.

    1. Thank you so much! It's cold here, but not too terrible. Today it's in the teens. They tell us it's been a really mild winter, as we haven't had many below zero days. It is very, very beautiful and that makes up for the cold. The sun shines almost every single day! :)

  3. Quite an adventure. It looks like you're living a good life. Enjoy!

  4. How exciting! I wanna come help :)

  5. Looks like a great day! We raised a hereford steer for the freezer this year and adored him. Great breed of cattle!

  6. Great Pics. & Info... as usual. I know you was lovin it :)

  7. Yep, I'm right there in the middle of things on cattle workin' day. I'm the one who loads the syringes, hands the knives, gloves, artificial insemination straws, dehorners... I've got it down to a rock and roll science. Heeehehehehe!!!

    You have yourself a blessed and beautiful weekend sweetie!!! :o)

  8. Anxious for another post. What ya up to?


  9. I love sortin' cows. I'm not very good at it, but I still love the work!
    I dunno how Mouse can tell them all apart when most of them look just alike! 'Course, people say the same thing about our jerseys. . .I'm not as good as Mouse, but the ones I do know I can tell you their whole history and how one is related to another.


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