The calves won’t be making the return trip this year. They were weaned from the cows in early April. The steers will remain at the ranch until they are sold, sometime this summer depending on cattle prices. Once the pasture we just burned is ready, the heifers will come home until most of them are sold with the steers. Ten or eleven lucky heifers will be chosen to remain in our operation as “replacement heifers”, i.e. to replace cows that are culled from our herd. These young debutantes will be bred later this year in November and December to present us with calves in the fall of 2015.
Load ‘em up! Move ‘em out!
“Do we get range cubes?”
“Sorry, no in-transport cubes. But we will provide a light snack in the boarding area. You don’t want to spoil your appetite for the lush green grass at home!”
General boarding at Gate W is now open. Please have your boarding passes ready and proceed in an orderly fashion along the chute-way. Did everyone relieve themselves prior to boarding? Again, there are no lavatories. You all made quite a mess last fall on the trip down!
“Dibs on a window seat!”
The weaned calves are hanging out in a nearby pen and pasture. Say good-bye to your mothers!
Home at Last!
As the cows unload, they’re greeted by one of the bulls and his harem of replacement heifers, waiting in another boarding area. They are being transported to a rented pasture until late summer, when the heifers will be brought home to calve. These are first-calf heifers; sometimes they have a disconnect with Mother Nature and don’t understand what’s going on. We will closely monitor the labor and delivery in case of problems.
#27 exclaims, “It’s good to be home!”
“That smorgasbord silage we ate all winter was pretty tasty, but nothing beats fresh spring greens!”
Back at Hilbert Hauling Terminal service area: There are still no lavatories in trailer-class.