After six days in the pen, these weaned calves from our Paregien Ranch know how to eat out of a feeder. After a long haul and first night weaned from their mothers, this bunch averaged 724 lbs.–probably our biggest calves overall.
We started gathering to wean on May 22nd and plan on hauling the last big bunch out of Greasy tomorrow. Over a month of gathering and weaning with a week of preg-checking our 2nd-calf heifers and putting them out into the hills before that, we’ve really never been sure what day it is. But we’ll still be getting up a 3:00 a.m. for another two weeks, just out of habit.
With neither sympathy nor time for complaints, Clarence, Zach, Robbin and I are now ready for a little break. But there’s still plenty to do like processing the bigger steer calves with EID tags and vaccinations for the Internet auction and shipping a couple of weeks after that, plus finding the lighter calves a new zip code. With a little light at the end of my tunnel vision, Clarence, at 73 years young, has been an inspiration for us all. My hero when I was 7, he still is 57 years later. Amazing!
This morning he and I left at daylight to get four calves and a cow we missed in Friday’s gather, out of the brush and rock down into the gathering field in Greasy. Then off the mountain to the corrals to sort the calves above: steers, potential replacement heifers and lighter calves to make it back to unsaddle by 10:00 a.m., leaving time to address our most pressing chores. A beautiful day, the weather cool.