Fall around here means preparing to wean our calves. Someone on my Instagram account asked me why we do this. Well, we wean the calves (who aren't so little anymore), so we can make room for the new babies to come in the spring. Also, to give the cows time to adjust before calving again. And, probably the most important reason...to pass the calves onto someone who will feed them out (get them fattened up) before they're used for what their raised for...beef for the consumer.
Rarely do we keep any calves, unless we're keeping heifers to use as cows in a year or so. We just don't do that part of the operation anymore. When I was in high school, that's all we did. We didn't have cows. Instead we were the middle men who fed weaned calves until they were ready to finish out at a feed lot. Now, we're on the cow/calf side of the business.
So, to get ready for the weaning, we vaccinate them a few weeks ahead of time, and last week, the kids got to watch toward the end.
Peter was in charge of keeping the calves pushed up in the chute, so Dad and Papa could get them vaccinated quickly and back out to be with their moms.
We marked those heifers we wanted to keep, so they can easily be cut from the group once weaning happens.
In less than an hour, all of our calves (the ones in the pastures near Jeremy and my house) were vaccinated!
The kids helped get them back to their moms and then out to pasture.
The work was done, for the day, and in just a few weeks, they'll be separated and shipped to their new homes!