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.
Loose rein in right hand: CHECK.
Serious expression: CHECK.
Left hand on thigh: CHECK!
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!
Hello Big Red… taking it all in there. I do wonder what they think sometimes… probably ‘Where is my food, woman!’
While it’s all a bit strange for them without Mum, they soon settle down and take proceedings in their stride.
Or is it this one?
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!
They even start posing for me now!
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…
Dani 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.
A cool fresh drinking in a trickling stream adds to the positive experience in their first big walk.
Home. Where 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!).
Hope you enjoyed the start of the 2014 weaning too! You will be seeing more of these boys in the days ahead …