Friday, May 25, 2012


Its hard to know where to begin when it feels like you are already at the end. But, I will do my best.
I realize that statement is a bit confusing but really we are at the end of the season over here.
Because of Georgia's unique (read: Hot) climate, some adjustments need to be made to accommodate the raising of cattle.  One such adjustment is the reversal of seasons.
As a background let me explain our previous experience...
When we lived in Montana the season so to speak was kicked off with calving. Usually in early spring, (February/March'ish). Followed by branding, then  re-breeding and turning out to pasture for the summer. Then  putting up hay for the winter. Followed by gathering in the fall and finally shipping.
After calves are shipped there was usually a quick breather to prepare for winter and recoup and then it would start all over again.
***Please note, I am going off of memory here and anyone who knows better than me is certainly free to offer their corrections.***

So, back to seasons in the south. It seems that because of the warmer climate our "down-time" will actually be midsummer when the temperatures reach their peak. (This years prediction is a high of up to 120 degrees. Yes, I am sweating just thinking about it.) Anyway for the comfort and profitability of the cattle they have switched the season. So, Calving begins in the fall, September, I think. Followed by Branding in January and then breeding and turn out...well this ranch is about 300+- acres so probably more like pasture rotation. Then weaning and Shipping in the spring.

So, like I said we have gotten here at what feels like the end of the season. Another difference is that for this shipping it began at 7pm. Mostly for the sake of the steers. I don't think I need to remind anyone it is hot down here. They are also splitting the herd, sending the steers to their partner ranch in Nebraska to eat grass in a cooler climate where they will then sell them in the fall. As to the heifers, some will be used as replacements, and the rest will be sold at the local cattle auction here in a few weeks.

As to the actual event of shipping... it was a pretty quiet affair. They brought in the steers in the morning, and began loading the truck at around 7pm. There was only one truck and when all was said and done Kyle walked in the door at 11:45p.m. Only to be called back because the truck was over weight. So, back to work he went and unloaded a few calves, then they reorganized the truck and finally sent it on its way just before 1:00a.m. Needless to say it was a very long day.
Shipping Truck

Now you may wonder what else has been going on... Well the day after shipping started early and was spent getting the boss and the other hand around to head to the partner ranch in Nebraska to meet the calves and take part in their annual branding. And though a branding always is a great deal of fun and fellowship I am quite happy to have Kyle here taking care of things and maybe, just maybe getting a few hours of family time in.  


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