My first day off from work meant being put to work on the ranch. It had been quite a while since I had the opportunity to ride a 4-wheeler and spend some time outside, so I jumped at the chance! My mother-in-law offered to babysit Gunder while John and I worked. It was a brisk 22 degree morning in northern South Dakota, but the sun was shining beautifully. Our task yesterday was to pregnancy check about forty cows. John pushed cattle through the alley; Perry operated the chute and treated the cattle; Ken did the real work of checking the cattle to determine if they were pregnant or open; and I kept records.
But, that’s not all folks…I think all four of us learned a very valuable lesson yesterday: you don’t have to have a science degree to get this cattle stuff figured out. As was proved yesterday, an education degree is quite sufficient. There were three cattle in the chute/alley. We had been trying to keep one cow at the front of the chute in order to entice others to walk up the alley and not be fearful. However, the guys could not get the cow in the back to back up. After analyzing the situation, I determined that by releasing the cow in the front through the gate, it would allow room for the following two to spread out, therefore allowing the back cow to back down the alley. The men looked at me with skepticism (or disdain), but what did they have to lose? The head catch was opened, and the first cow marched her happy little rear right out into the pen. The next two cows now had enough room to spread out, and the cow in the back put it in reverse and backed right down the alley. After that, things ran smoothly the rest of the morning. From now on, November 27th will be remembered as the day The Displaced City Girl saved the day.
Cattle work isn’t the only excitement around the ranch this Thanksgiving. The whole family is back for the holiday! It is fun spending time with family from Aberdeen, Brookings, and even Chicago. Hopefully you all have great Thanksgivings. For now, Gunder and I are going to enjoy the rest of the parade, finish our morning beverages (milk for him, coffee for me), and relax before heading back out to the ranch.