This afternoon we decided to move our small herd several pastures over.
Richard and I had 9 calves to vaccinate and weight, one to dehorn, and three bulls to band. The entire thing from gather to working to returning them to the pasture took just over an hour. And, we were both happy with each other at the end of the job!
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Then, after our school in Monticello, AR we headed due west to visit Mom and Dad (Bud and Eunice Williams) for another dose of stockmanship from the “man!”
We spent a whirlwind week across the lower midwest/south from home to Ashland, Kansas to Monticello, Arkansas (with a little dip down into Louisiana so Tina could cross off another state visited) to Bowie, Texas and then back home again!
We took a walk out to check on the calves, and I took some photos of the near white-out conditions. Had to combine this with a holiday greeting!
During one of our stockmanship schools, Richard asked the rhetorical question, “I wonder why some people work their livestock roughly?”
One of the attendees quickly responded, “I know why.”
Richard asked, “Tell us so we’ll all know.”
“Because it’s in the Bible”
Then another attendee said, “Yes, it’s Proverbs 12:10!”
“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” —Proverbs 12:10
This photo is from the beginning of Day 2 of the fall lawnmowing experience here on the farm. Rather than take half a day on the riding lawn mower, we move the cattle through the yard in carefully thought-out slices marked off with a single strand of electric fence. After attending a mob-grazing seminar in June, we’ve cut our slices smaller and smaller until our goal is giving them in an area about double the area they need to stand on. They grazed the area just below where they are in this photo above from 7:30 to 9:30 am.
This slice is a bit smaller than the first this morning, they are grazing it a lot better, and they finished it in just one hour. I’ve marked the far side posts with red lines. These 3 together in the left are blocking the cattle from our little flower bed in the middle of the yard. I’ve got a pretty good system of dividing out the yard which allows me to protect the plants the cattle would make a mess of yet allow them to graze everything else. They don’t eat all the ragweed plants, but they knock them down enough so we are happy with it. We do have to walk a little carefully the first few days after grazing the yard, but then we don’t need to fertilize the yard either! It’s a good trade-off!
Above is the next move west and shows how well they ate around the flower bed (just one hour on that setting) and how well they are eating their next “paddock.”
Right now they are grazing by the front porch. I’m sitting here enjoying the sound of cattle eating grass. Have you heard it? Sit in the field (turn off the 4-wheeler!) and listen for a while. Now, doesn’t that beat the sound of a lawnmower all to heck?