Posted by: 347bennetrd | March 31, 2010

Cattle Weaning and Pregnancy Testing

On Sunday Dad and I spent a busy day mustering up all the cows and calves for weaning and pregnancy testing.  We mustered Oven Hill together – this is a group of quite steep scrubby paddocks, that I wasn’t sure I could do by myself.  It was a lovely day, calm and clear.  This photo is taken from the top far side of Oven Hill looking back down and then up towards the yards.

Blue and I trekked my way up to the top corner on foot, boy oh boy it was steep and got me panting!  I brought over one group and met Dad’s group in the middle to push them down a hollow.  The usual (long) way is to bring them up the other side using the track you can see  going up the middle ridge.  But Dad though we would try a sneaky way and shortcut through a plantation.  The gamble paid off and we arrived up through the trees with all our mob.

I spent the rest of the day gathering up mobs and bringing them to paddocks closer to the cattle yards.  Dad spent the rest of the day fixing electric fences to stop the cows jumping fences in the search of their calves…

On Monday morning we started out early and brought mobs down to the yards where we started separating the cows and calves.  This gets done by bringing a group into a large pen, one person stands at the end gate and lets through the cows while turning the calves away.  Once all the calves were weaned, we separated them into heifer calves to keep, steer calves to fatten, calves to send away and a group of weenie calves who are too small to sell.  The truck came to take the selling calves away and that was the first job done.

We then put the cows through the race and each one gets scanned with an ultra-sound probe.  The scanner guy has a video unit attached to his cap and he can see the foetus and determine its age.  “Dries” are cows that are not in calf, and they get separated off…  Here is Greg Lambie the scanner guy

Once all is finished, the calves had to be run briskly down to a paddock far away from the cows.  And the cows got run up the hill.  Lots of lowing all evening…

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