Sale Day

Some of our steers

Thursday morning November 3rd, was a big day for us–we sold our calf crop in Belle Fourche. Our help showed up before daylight at the barn north of Pringle to help us gather, sort, and load our calves and the truck showed up about 8:00 a.m.

After a year’s worth of a lot of  hard work, worrying, stressing, and fussing over our herd, the time had arrived for the pay off and to start all over. Our calves looked good and we got some great comments on how they looked from our favorite sale barn auctioneer Lynn Weishaar, whom we were also fortunate enough to have sell our calves for us when it was our turn.

 

In a matter of minutes, our entire year’s salary was determined for the 365 days we worked to care for them. I can’t think of very many American jobs where a person’s entire year’s worth of work is determined by a bid. People who have secure jobs and know exactly what their wages/annual salary is can’t imagine how stressful sale day is, wondering how much we’re going to get paid for the work we do to essentially to feed the world.

Our new work year has already begun as we had a load of creep feed delivered the next day (Friday) for our new set of replacement heifer calves. These calves will become a part of our herd as momma cows that will replace the older ones. Now that our calves are weaned, this is one of their replacement feeds. Creep feed is the equivalent of a Flintstones vitamin. The calves love the taste of it and they’re getting a boost in protein, vitamins and minerals at the same time. Our creep feed comes in form of little pellets and we feed the calves a couple of five gallon buckets every morning in a feed bunk. We will also feed them hay. Thus begins our new daily chores!

From now until it’s time to move the calves to summer range, we will be interacting with them daily to get them tamed down some, and get used to us coming and going and our voices through feeding them daily up at the barn by Pringle.

In other news, our son hadn’t had a chance to go deer hunting until yesterday (Friday) since the season started on November 1st. He went out kind of late in the morning with a friend and called me about an hour later to tell me he got a nice five point buck; one shot using my Ruger 22-250 hunting rifle.

Now I will have a chance to try out the new meat slicer I picked up at a second hand store. It will make cutting meat for venison jerky a lot easier.

Later that day, our daughter had her first tournament as Middle School wrestling manager and was with the team in Hill City. Our son wanted to spend time with his buddy so my husband and I did what every couple looks forward to when kids aren’t around—cutting, splitting and stacking firewood!

We don’t rely on wood heat to heat our home (though I wish we did because I miss it dearly!) but my dad went through open heart surgery last month so my husband and I went up to put a dent in his firewood pile. I cut the logs into chunks and my husband ran the wood splitter. I must say, I sure do miss using the chainsaw I used to run—a Stihl 64. It’s been a while since I’ve run a saw, and all we have on the ranch is a little saw; kind of like what you’d see in the toy section for little boys. I’m used to a chainsaw that can handle any size logs. We filled all of the wood boxes which my dad designed to be picked up and hauled to the garage using his tractor and we stacked what was left.

Seeing Dad’s old wood splitter (sorry, I forgot to take my camera along) brought back a lot of memories as a kid fighting with my brothers over running the splitter and having to help stack firewood. By the time we called it a day, our daughter called and was in town ready to be picked up. Now that the calves are sold and daylight savings begins, another season is officially upon us!

 

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About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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