It's Fall. And Fall means weaning on the ranch. So, the guys (and my mom!) have been doing a lot of it lately. I've talked about it before, but it basically entails brining all of our cows and calves into the pens (on varying days), pre-vaccinating them a few weeks before they are weaned, then gathering them back a few weeks later and separating them. Some calves are immediately shipped to buyers, and others stay on the ranch...those are ones we've decided to keep to use as cows/bulls eventually.
Luckily, we have a set of pens right outside our back door, so when things are a bit slower, we can go out and watch/help.
Once the calves are separated from their moms, we go through a six week period of watching them very closely...gathering them daily, giving them meds when they get sick, making sure they're eating, basically getting them through the stress of this change.
Some are heifers we purchase from local people that need to be branded (the quick way)...
And, initially we feed them in the pens and slowly train them to come to the truck in the pasture so they can eventually just be turned out on pasture for good.
This particular day, I found the boys gathering up all of the "cake" and taking it to the water tank. A bit appalled, I asked them what they were doing. Oh, you know, just making some cereal for the cows.
We've almost reached the end of this busy season...and we'll soon move into one in which we're feeding the cattle every other day with supplemental feed (as the grass will have died in the Winter months).
It's a time I always look forward to...one in which we have the opportunity to go out and do some of the work as a family when the stars align. Because I know three little boys...and a girl...who love being with their Daddy!
(side note - I used to get yelled at for climbing on gates...oh the difference in a kid and a grandkid...nothing was said here)
Ahh, another season is in the books.