Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Separating Cows and Calves

It's that time around here where you gotta separate the calves from the mommas.  Cattle ranchers breed their cows in late summer so they calve in the spring and then the calves are sold at auction in November.  It's a real sad thing for those mommas because you know what happens when you all of the sudden stop nursing right? 

Here are the mommas.

Here are the babies.

Here is a momma with all the babies.  She really thinks she is smart because she wasn't separated from her baby. But guess what?  She is a mean, disobedient and defiant momma so she is going to the auction too. She just doesn't know it yet.  

Just loadin 'em up.

You might think that this process is going smoothly, but not so.  If you look at the the door of the trailer there is a cow turned around.  It is probably that mean old momma cow.  See what I mean?  So disobedient!  Actually, I just enlarged the photo, and it is not the mean old momma cow, just another calf who really doesn't want to be first.

That's Lou Lou making sure everything is running smoothly.  She is a regular ranch hand.

Transportation to the auction.  Twenty-three calves and one mean momma will fit in that trailer.

Ahhh....those poor momma cows.  They were just a moo'in like you wouldn't believe when that trailer took their babies.

See?  It's sad.

Balog Auction in Lethbridge  That is Mr. Balog on the right.  You should hear him do his thing.  I like it.  

Here is a little informaton for you all because I know you are all dying to know what all those lit up numbers are for on the back board.  

The number on the left that tells you how many calves were in the last group that just went through, the middle number tells you the gross weight of the group of calves and the number on the right tells you how much per pound the calves were sold for.  That info. is all under the left board.  The board on your right tells you how much the next set of calves weigh.  The middle number tells you how many calves are in the group, and the number on the right tells you the average weight of the calves. 

The whole view from the bleachers.  See the guys at the fence line?  They are the potential buyers. They buy these calves, fatten them up, then , well, you know.  Some might be kept for breeding but most are not, poor things.  It's just the life of a cow.

I drove by the pasture the day after the auction and the mommas are still there just waiting for their babies to come back.  Good news though.  They are all pregnant and ready to go for the next go around.  It's what cattle ranchers do here.  



Every event around here serves roast beef.  I'm not even kidding.  I have probably had more roast beef in the last three years than I have had in my whole entire life.  Ok, that might be a bit of a strong statement, but you get it right?  It's all about the beef in southern Alberta!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


An ordinary weekend suddenly got funner when we woke up Friday morning to find Brad and Michelle frying bacon for breakfast. They stopped by BYU-I to pick up Laurel, but she had work and class on Friday so she couldn't come. We'll just have to wait a few more weeks until Thanksgiving!