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OPINION: Working cattle is the best part of living!

November 16, 2021 at 7:17 a.m.

We gathered cattle yesterday, started at daylight and stopped after dark. I have decided it was plain ignorant to put good lights in the area around the chute! Who wants to work after dark? I guess I can answer that: only the man or men who own the cattle. It was a nice day but got chilly when the breeze picked up, and trying to dry the sweat all over your body dang near froze me.

The old cowherd was first and I know they are always my favorite bunch. Many are named and you get pretty personal after a few years. We were glad to add three head to this bunch due to losing three old cows. I am not tech-savvy but I am very pleased with the results when they are printed out and handed to me over a cup of coffee. The offspring took to those phones like ducks to water and it has helped tremendously with records. Even have a spot for cow names if so given. Wow, my close relative sure likes that too!

We found no problems and gave the second dose of dewormer so the feed eaten would nourish cattle instead of worms! I hate grubs and it makes me sick to my stomach to find them in the spring. Maybe this will help again this year. Our mighty vet says to always prepare for a good winter and that helps make a great spring!

The new fall calves are so good this year. I say that every year because I am easily taken by bouncing black calves. And new ones do bounce! They have lots of milk in them and the mommas have lots of good grass to produce the best creamy cow juice. They all got recommended doses of meds and checked over. Very easy bunch, the quiet cows seem to calm the calves as we put them through.

Then the heifers! They were fun and all of us producers need to remember to process them the last before lunch. Doing that bunch after eating lunch will about cause a 911 call! They are growing so fast and we should have weighed them in order to set the dates for breeding. The hurry was on us to finish so we didn't take care of that.

The steers were calm and getting very heavy. They will be going to the feedlot when they weigh around 900. Feed is high, so we need to grow all we can with grass. They were all pretty good but cut one out for butchering. He will get extra care, my close relative likes to feed the ones destined for the table. We had no bloodletting, just a couple of fast calf kicks that left prints. No bandages and no bragging about being the cowboy of the day!

It is my opinion, and everyone has one, working cattle is the best part of living! I know I am sore and was so tired I could hardly eat that last piece of pie last night. I can tell I am getting a little bit, not much, older this year. Sure glad that does not interfere with bossing! We laugh and tease and ache together while doing this chore. Our offspring are good at being beef producers even if they won't do it on horseback!

I hope you don't miss the chance to be kind today. Be easy on close relatives, don't kick the cat out of the door, wave at the mailman and be less judgmental at the round table. Those old men don't care if their teeth float around when talking!

Look for your long johns and pray. Always pray, and Remember the Alamo!

Bill is the pen name used by the Gravette-area author of this weekly column. Opinions expressed are those of the author.


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