My story: we had a fair bit going on at the station. There were cattle to process, and an AI program to continue with. We were down to a handful of staff and suddenly found ourselves short alone critical afternoon. So the interim manager assigned the book keeper and the station cook to the care of the head stockman to get a simple job done of changing the ear tags on a specific group of cattle.
Now the book keeper grew up on a property, albeit a small one… so if you put here in a yard and say move these cattle there and those cattle here, she’s at least already thinking forward on how. The cook, however does not have that upbringing. So I followed on and tried best to be observant and helpful.
A cattle yard is an interesting place. Gates every which way. Pressure points and ever decreasing spaces for cattle to cope with. So I have 200 cattle in one yard and we “push” some into the next and less into the one after that. We end up with 10 in a small octagonal yard that is all gates only and called the round yard, to direct the cattle as quietly as possible to the race and the cattle crush where we can replace the ear tags as required for this day.
So while it was bookie, head stockie and me, it might have been slow going. But I was able to keep the cattle coming up quietly. And they seemed happy enough.
But then we had a few other show up from the bore job. And holy moly. Those cattle were stirred up! I ended up in that round yard with far too many cattle. They were moving about trying to gain relief from the pressure of bing too tightly confined with no where to go. As a result one cow kicked me in my hip. It felt like a softball coming at me from a div 1 player. Thump! She looked back at me… and I asked what did you do that for? Both of us said oh well and continued trying to keep things as quiet as possible when the others are stirring the pot way too much.
I had a bit of a go at the “processing” end. That’s a pretty fast paced game. High energy activity to swap tags and do any other jobs required. Not today, but things like branding and weighing happen there.
But I decided I much prefer to work the backyards. To quietly stand in a yard and try to determine where to apply a small amount of pressure to get enough cattle into the next yard without having them change their minds just at the gate and run back to where we started.
I had an absolute ball that afternoon. I still have a massive bruise, but being fat saved the day this time. I was really hot, really thirsty. Really tired, still required to do dinner but so happy.
Ok so no pics from my adventure this day but here. Have a selfie.
The bread went stale after a big function and the crew aren’t keen on dessert so French toast for smoko…. yummo
This is home. Well it’s actually work… my view from the kitchen.
That’s Lola. Poddies have taught me a lot about cattle. However nine is a lot to be responsible for.