While having to get up in the middle of the night to unload new cattle is not a chore that I enjoy, unloading cattle in the evening with my two favorite blondes is one of my very favorites.
I have vivid memories of trying to keep an accurate animal count while one or the other of the girls randomly spouted out numbers when they were too little to really figure out what they were supposed to be doing. You might be surprised how difficult it is to count correctly amidst the number chaos of a chattering three year old…
Today, I still use my fingers to help me keep track while unloading cattle (a practice that I adopted while the girls were little). I am proud to report that all of them are now excellent counters and have become quite a big help!
We try very hard to make unloading new cattle a positive experience for our animals. It is their first impression of their new home and we want it to be a good one. I like to see the cattle calmly walking off of the truck, and curiously looking at their surroundings. A bovine only displays curiosity when he is comfortable and confident, and that is always my goal.
These animals arrived about 8:00 in the evening, with only about another hour of daylight left as we unloaded them. I made the decision to house the cattle overnight in the corral because of the impending fall of darkness.
When cattle have spent several hours on a semi-truck, they are ready for fresh water to drink and a snack of grass before finding a comfortable place to lay down and rest. At daylight, we move them to their home pen where more fresh water and feed await them.
I find that whenever I place cattle in their new home pen that they are likely to head for either the water tank, the feed bunk, or the mineral tub after they walk the fence lines a few times. I like to see them settled at any one of these three places.
It brings a smile to my face to watch the cattle find comfort in their new pen. I spend the next 4-7 days acclimating and exercising them daily. This helps them to more quickly adapt to feed yard life.
As a side note, I would like to apologize to all of you who follow Feed Yard Foodie via email for the advertisements that have recently appeared at the bottom of my posts. WordPress started to do that without my permission and I just became aware of it a few days ago. I have since changed the settings on the blog site so they should not appear again.
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