Get Along, Little Doggies

In order to ensure our cattle always have access to fresh feed, it is necessary to move them to fresh pasture. This is quite an ordeal. First thing in the morning, we were busy saddling horses and getting everything ready to move the momma cows and their calves. To ensure a move with limited stress on the cattle and all of us, my dad went through and made sure all of the gates that needed to be closed were closed, and that the gates that needed to be open were open. He also checked to make sure there was plenty of water waiting for the herd for when they arrived. After everything is ready to go, we set out to round up the cattle from the pasture. We check every valley and hilltop in the pasture to ensure no calves or cows get left behind.

Evan

We believe in using all kinds of “horse power”

 

During the move, there were two of us on horses and two pickups or four wheelers helping with the move. One vehicle went ahead of the herd to ensure there was no traffic coming on the roads. We also had a vehicle at the back of the herd that would stay back on hills to ensure traffic was not coming from the other direction. Evan and I were on the horses. Our job was to make sure the herd was moving at the correct pace (not too fast or too slow). If the herd moves too fast, the cattle will get worn out and stressed. If the herd moves too slowly, it can be a hazard on the roads. We were also in charge of making sure the herd stays together. The wheat fields we passed seem very appealing to a cow, and it’s our job to make sure they do not damage neighbors’ fields. If it is needed, we also are in charge of turning the herd to change direction. Horses have a much easier time getting around the herd to turn them than vehicles do.

Western “traffic jam”

Western “traffic jam”

Once the cattle arrive in their new pasture, we make certain that they find water. Once everyone is settled, we start heading home. At the end of the day, even though we were all exhausted and cold, we still made sure that the horses and cattle had plenty of fresh water and feed. We are responsible for the health and well being of these animals, and their needs come before our own.

Rachel Purdy
Princess Farmer

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