Though we weaned our calves last spring in these pipe pens, we branded our first bunch of calves here yesterday. Earl McKee began construction nearly 20 years ago, and only with my sister’s help could we finish the job. In the upper pen, it feels as if we’re working on top of the world. With the camera on the table, multiple photo credits go to Audrey Maze, Allie Fry, Terri Blanke, Maggie Loverin and Robbin.
To make the handling process easier on the calves, we incorporated a head pen.
I made a couple of videos of us working cattle in the new corrals in Greasy to send to my sister who owns the ground and financed their completion. Our cattle handling has evolved since the use of the Kubotas, finding it much easier to lead cattle than to drive them while gathering this steep and brushy ground. Over the years, the cows have become gentler and more cooperative, and having good facilities insures they remain that way. I thought some followers of the blog might be interested.
The first video shows the improvements to our loading facilities and the second demonstrates how we worm our cows for potential parasites—not the kind of action one might find in wild cow poetry, but the way we like it.
We are gnats on the elephant
dependent on weather
and her mastodonian nature:
a flick of an ear or a downpour.
She has taught us to be adaptable,
to stay humble, to turn tragedies
to opportunities and despite
our good luck, revel quietly
upon our small part of her dusty
hide. And she accepts us—as long as
we remain less irritating than those
on the rest of her landscape.