Experience teaches only the teachable.

— Aldous Huxley

Two Heifers Left Behind

I must be a sucker for getting myself into these situations, but in the end I learn a lot from them and get free experience too. A fellow I know had been talking to me for a couple of weeks about needing someone to catch two heifers he had not been able to catch when he ran out of grass and tricked the other ten heifers into the corral. He had tried a couple of times to chum these two with range cubes and had tried with help to no avail to drive them in to the corral. So, I told him I would go up and gather them if he would stay away until I had them caught. He agreed.

I started working with the calves September 28th and spent four and a half hours just getting them to where they would respond to light pressure. I went back on September 29th and worked three and a half hours with them, at which point they were working better and not just running off like deer. I went back on October 1 and spent about five more hours with them and had them to the point they would drive and handle nicely, but still they were not in the corral.

I went back up on October 3rd and found that one of the two heifers had calved, and not wanting to put more stress on the heifer decided I would just drive them up by the corral and string a polywire across the field to cut down on my walking.

Then I just left them for five days until today, October 8th. Tina and I both went up this time and the smaller walking distance really helped out. We opened up a new gate on the north side of the corral and in no time had them caught in a small weaning pen. From there it was easy to bring the two heifers into the corral and close the gate. I called the owner, and he sent the trailer. We backed it up and opened the door, and I got in the corral and pretty much just stood in the side of the corral I didn’t want the heifers. They walked up, looked in the trailer, one jumped in, and within ten seconds the other loaded without any problem at all.

We backed the horse trailer up to the gate on the right in front of the cow.

And they walked right in!

I have heard Bud say over and over “you keep doing the right thing until it works.” This is definitely one of those times where patience and persistence payed big dividends in the end.

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