Saturday, November 10, 2012

How Now Black Cow!

Once we got the land purchased, took possession, and finally got full use of the place, it was time to purchase cows.  My spouse learned of a dispersal sale about 45 minutes from us.  After looking through the information we received in the mail, we both agreed to drive down to look at the cattle they would be selling.  My spouse had his eye on a group of cows that were in the brochure.  We drove down, looked at the cows, visited with the vet (who was a business associate of the spouse) and decided to come back on Saturday for the sale.  Just FYI - as we were getting ready to head out, we stepped into the barn and got to watch as the vet palpated the cows.  Now I knew what that meant but I had never seen it.  To be honest - I would have stayed for the entire day.  It was really interesting to watch and I was enthralled to see how the vet could know how far along the cows were.  For those who don't know what all this means - palpating is how the vet determines if the cow is pregnant and if so, how far along she is.  (All the cows we purchased were bred so we were looking forward to birth of calves - more on that later!)

We got up early on that Saturday morning and drove to the sale.  It was cool and as we drove, it began drizzling on us (this will become more of an issue as the day goes on).  We arrived about 1 1/2 hours before the sale was set to begin.  I had never been to a sale like this so the entire atmosphere was a new experience.  We walked through to see the cows we had looked at before.  The drizzle falling began to get heavier.  We sat inside, watched the bulls as they came through the sale ring, and watched as the drizzle got heavier and heavier.  Finally after lunch, the group of cows we had looked at, began coming through the sale ring.  My hubby bid on the first group but stopped short of having the high bid.  However, the next 4 groups he bid on and got the bid.  We bought 32 head that day.  Now to get them home. 

Delivery was available but it would be a large truck.  We weren't sure a truck could make it out to our place and get in the gate, especially if it was wet.  Did I mention that it had drizzled/rained all day on Saturday?  Arrangements were made for delivery to the sale barn in our town on Sunday morning.  We would transport from the sale barn out to the place.  I went on to church Sunday morning while my hubby waited to meet the delivery truck.  I called when I got out of church and met him at the ranch.  He had already transported 1 trailer load of cows from the sale barn.  I grabbed my camera, coat and headed out.  The drizzle from Saturday - yep - it kept it up on Sunday morning, got heavier through the day.  I learned about how to load the cows from the sale barn into the trailer.  The first load went in ok - trailer was dry and clean, but it definitely didn't stay clean or dry!  As each load went in, I worried about one breaking a leg or getting a gash as they tripped going up into the trailer.  Then I wondered if all that were being herded to load would actually fit!  It was almost like getting clowns in a Volkswagon!  We got them out to the place, backed up the trailer to the pen (no I wasn't driving), and opened the gate.  Out they went, sometimes tripping on the trailer or in the mud as they ran to get out.  It took about an hour for each load and it took 4 loads to get them all out to the place.  I was wet, cold, muddy and had manure smeared on my jeans and I LOVED it all!  It was such a great feeling to see all those black cows in the pen and know they were ours! 

I have pictures posted below.  If you look, you can actually see it raining.  It has definitely been a learning experience and I truly have loved every minute of it.

More to come ...


  1. I was raised on a diary farm and it was lots of work. We milked cows every 12 hours every single day. It was hard work. If you love it then there you go. Enjoy.

    Oh Willy sent me over from Hillbilly Willy.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  2. Sandee - we are not raising dairy cows so we don't have to go out and milk twice a day. But I do love everything I am learning and doing as we start this new venture.

    Willy is my husband's uncle and he is a hoot! We love him and his sweet wife, and of course his daughter and her family with the new grandson!

    Thanks for looking!