The class of 2014…

It’s COFFEE and SCROLL time… (lots of easy-viewing pics ahead!)

Today you get to ride with Mr Incredible, Cal and myself as we skim over a 4-day period, during our weaning here at Granite Glen.

We begin as the boys take the cows back to their paddock, after being drafted off from their half-grown offspring. They are all pregnant with their next babies and need some time to themselves, to maintain their condition through winter and probably havea facial or pedicure before they give birth in Spring.

weaners_6237 eI love the boys’ traditional ‘riding out’ pose here.

Loose rein in right hand: CHECK.

Serious expression: CHECK.

Left hand on thigh: CHECK!

WEANERS_6278 e

The calves are a bit sad to see Mum go…

Although it should be noted that most cows head straight back to their paddocks. Some of those calves are nearly as tall as mum and are perfectly capable of doing without milk – those girls need a break, man!

weaners_6229 fOnce back in the yards we work the weaners… no dogs required for this part of the job (sorry Sparky, have a little rest near the fence while we work.)

weaners_6246 eThere are some pretty cute faces in the crowd… hello handsome boy!  This one’s a proper little bull already…

weaners_6253 eAnd this little delightful lady – she has a bit more Angus in her pedigree and has sweet sticky-out hairy ears.

WEANERS_6314 e

Hello Big Red… taking it all in there.  I do wonder what they think sometimes… probably ‘Where is my food, woman!’

weaners_6294 e

While it’s all a bit strange for them without Mum, they soon settle down and take proceedings in their stride.

weaners_6285 eThis shot was taken over my shoulder as I leaned on the bottom rail of the fence… look at these sticky beaks checking out the weird human.

weaners_6320 bbeGorgeous girls posing in a row – I wonder if the one on the right is the coolest chick in this class??

Or is it this one?

weaners_6271 eOh yes…

weaners_6503 50 eA lot of sorting into mobs goes on – bulls with bulls, steers with steers, heifers with heifers…weaners_6463 eAnd innoculating and worming too.  We want our herd as healthy as possible!weaners_6437 eAnd let’s not forget eating…weaners_6556 e

Lots and lots of eating.

We had a break-out at one stage, with calves getting out of the yards and back with their Mums.  One calf was found with his face pressed against the fence wanting back in… obviously it’s not such a bad  place to be!

Did I mention these guys are sticky beaks?  This young bull just wanted to lick the lense!

weaners_6379 eEach process helps them accept us in their midst.

They even start posing for me now!

wbulls_6415 eNot so much my husband though – I am still working on him!

weaners_6445 50 eThen it’s time to walk them out.

We don’t have a set-up condusive to ‘tailing out’ here – a process where the weaners get taken into a small paddock by the yard and worked gently before being put back into the yard a few times before being put in their paddocks.  We just do one big walkout.  It’s a little nerve-wracking sometimes because they aren’t used to walking as a mob without older cattle. Our terrian is pretty hilly with lots of gullies and some heavily treed areas.  Lots of hiding places if they feel naughty – it can all be a bit unpredictable.

But these guys…

wbulls_6595 eThey just wanted to eat.

wbulls_6562 eThese are our little bulls, on their way home to our house, where I will get to know them all over the next couple of weeks.

wbulls_6565 eDani the dog kept them moving along – she’s a wonderful dog who came from a friend of mine.  Our dogs make this job SOOO much less stressful – keeping the mob tidy without us moving too fast (or alarmingly for the cattle) on our horses.

wbulls_6579 eThere really is NOTHING like this job when the cattle are content and behaved, the grass has a little green in it, and the sky is blue…

wbulls_6587 eYoung men marching over the hill…

wbulls_6581 eThey will spend the next year or so with these same paddock-mates.  Until they go to their new homes, to be Big Bulls with more serious duties.

wbulls_6625 e

A cool fresh drinking in a trickling stream adds to the positive experience in their first big walk.

wbulls_6641 eI should mention my (borrowed) steed Nancy.  She was such a sweetie and did not complain about all the clicking from above!

wbulls_6652 eMy husband in the lead, his dogs patrolling the edges to ‘tuck’ any wayward weaners back into the mob.

wbulls_6777 eAnd before you know it, we are there.

Home. wbulls_6748 eWhere Cal and I sit with them all for about 20 minutes, to make sure they are content and settled (and not heading off in a rush to bust a fence somewhere!).

wbulls_6773 eAaaahhhhh…. what a beautiful sight for (this farmer’s) eyes.

Hope you enjoyed the start of the 2014 weaning too!  You will be seeing more of these boys in the days ahead …

17 Responses to “The class of 2014…”

  1. What a delightful post – I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I’m always amazed by the size of your operation.

    I watched our handful of yearlings leave with the cattle broker today and it always makes me a wee bit sad.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your gang!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Shadow Shot Sunday #89

  2. Well you have been busy recently. What a skill, riding and photographing at the same time. These young’ins are looking healthy. I hope they enjoy their new home and being the focus of your lens many a time.
    Anne@GritandGiggles´s last blog post ..A Barron Sunrise

  3. Excellent summary.
    When do you select the calves to miss the knife? How long do you keep the young bulls before they are sold?
    I reckon the cows would have been happy to see the retreating backsides of these big boys.
    What about the heifers and the steers? Different paddocks no doubt? And at what age will you start breeding the heifers – 2 years old???
    Looks like you got plentiful rain for the winter, no doubt some follow ups would be “the icing on the cake/paddocks”.
    Fantastic summation of life on your property and the work that is entailed.

    • Gosh a lot of questions there Colin!!
      Yes different paddocks for bulls, stud heifers, commercial heifers and steers.
      Two years old for our breeders – possible to start breeding them younger but our country is not rich enough to support them through that.
      Some rain and a little grass growth – not out of the proverbial woods yet though!

  4. I miss that view between the ears of a good horse. *sigh*

  5. Thanks for all those great photos, BB, I love to see your working ranch and its components. We’re loving the long days here; it was 8:30 and still pretty bright tonight.
    Lynda M Otvos´s last blog post ..New Pillow-All From Stash

  6. Great pics and post. Thank you. Always a joy.

  7. Great pics and beautiful country and beasts. I hope to come and visit one day if that’s ok. Hubby and I love the country. Great blog.

  8. Everything looks grand.

  9. I love seeing the cattle and the operation there. Keep up the good work of educating us. Thanks

  10. I loved riding along with you and the critters, BB.

  11. Just out of curious nature, do your horses neck rein? I ask because you mention the riders having reins in right hand. Cutters and ropers in our neck of the woods keep reins in left hand … generally speaking. Two handed reining was looked down upon where I learned to ride, as was hanging onto the saddle horn. Is right handed reining the ‘done thing?’ Where did you find “Nancy” and is it also the done thing to roach horses manes there now? Just trying to keep up with the international trends …. love your blog and those cattle are magnificent!

    • Constance.
      When way back I learnt to ride – after the crawling and walking, reins of horses depended on whether you were right handed or left handed. As I was right handed, the reins were held in the LEFT hand, the right being used for the carrying of the whip. The two hands on the reins are really for the Olympics etc. – the equestrian competitors or for show riding – pony clubs etc.
      So I suppose it really depends on left or right handed for the rider. I recall the old drovers here frowning on you if you dared to use both hands on the reins! They called you VERY NAUGHTY NAMES!

  12. Probably a good thing that Mr I isn’t keen on licking the lenses… Posing, that’s a different story!!! :P
    Fleur McDonald´s last blog post ..Happenings

  13. Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

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