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Monday, December 3, 2012

We Sold Our Babies!

A sad day in a Rancher Girl's life is when you have to sell your babies.  I've said before, our calves are mostly spring born.  We choose a spring calving season, so we don't have to feed them through the winter.  It lowers our feed bill and allows operating money throughout the winter to feed the mommas.  We have to purchase hay and cattle cubes during the winter months, while the grass is dormant. 

We bought the mommas, as yearling calves, two years ago.

Mommas as yearlings

Flower Boy also purchased a bull.

The following spring, we started having babies.  I played a game on FaceBook with folks.  Each time a baby was born, I would post "We had a baby!"  

Didn't Meryl and the Mommas make nice babies?

We loved going to the pens each day, to play with the babies, and see if a new one had been born.

Along about September, it's time to wean.  At this time, the babies get shots, ear tags, branded and hauled to a different pasture, away from their mommas.

Doesn't our brand look good?  Flower Boy surprised me with it right after we purchased the first set of calves.  The Rockin B is my family brand.  The time was shortly after my Daddy had passed away, so it was very heartfelt that Flower Boy would want my brand on our cattle and he did not want to create a new one.  I still smile about the thoughtfulness he had when he did that for me.

It's hard to believe how much those babies grow in 6 months time.  The mommas feed them well, as Flower Boy feeds their mommas well, too.

We held the babies over for the next few months.  It allows them to gain some weight, grow and get use to being away from their mommas.

Saturday, December 1st came and it was time to load the babies to sell them.  I HATE THIS PART!

Off to the sale barn we go!

We arrive, an hour later, at the sale barn.  We line up behind the other sellers, to unload the trailer.  The workers take our name, address and vehicle tag number.  The sale barn must make sure everything is legal and no stolen cattle go through their establishment.  We get to the unload pen and BOOM!  My babies are out of the trailer and out of my site!  I almost cried!  Flower Boy parks the truck and trailer, gets me out of the truck, takes my hand and escorts me to my seat at the sale ring.  I request the comfy seats.  They look like they have been taken out of an old movie theater.  We set and wait.  Good thing I brought the dreaded personal property list materials with me.  I thought we would be there a while.

Several hours pass... I'm watching the cattle run through the sale ring.  Flower Boy is watching weights and prices.  I am thinking, there are some really nice hides running through this sale ring.  (I plan to use cattle hides as rugs in the new house.) 

Flower Boy decides he is going to go check to see if the workers have moved up our babies and sorted them properly.  The sort makes a difference in the way the babies sell.  The goal is to have all heifers or all steers sell together and the group to be approximately all the same weight.  We had 4 heifers sell together, a group of two steers and two singles.

Suddenly, Flower Boy comes in the door, sets down and says "They are just about to bring them up!"  He was excited.  I had mixed emotions and the questions started flying.  "Did they sort them right?"  "Are they okay?"  "Are they spooked or jumpy?"  Flower Boy just looks at me.  I needed to know my babies were going to be alright when they came into the ring.

Next thing, I see is the gate opening and my babies walking in.  I hear my name being called and the auctioneer is calling cattle prices.  I know not to speak because Flower Boy was focused. 

The next set comes in, the next and the next.  It all happened so fast, I wasn't able to get pictures of all them selling.

After they all ran through, I looked at Flower Boy and said "Did we do good?"  He is calculating the numbers.... And says "Pretty Good!"  He smiles...  All our hard work had paid off! 

On our drive home, we talked about how it all starts over again in the spring.  COME ON SPRING!  I'm ready for more babies!

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