The OH Ranch just weaned and sold our first calf crop. Weaning means separating the calves from the cows so that we can sell the calves at market. But first, we had to bring the herd out of the lease which is about 4,000 acres, so gathering them all up took about three days.
We had some great help from the neighbours to wean the calves. We gathered the whole herd into the weaning pen northwest of the headquarters and sorted the cows from the calves. We then separated the heifers from the steers.
Next we took the heifers down to the corrals at the buildings in trailers, where we sorted the black heifers from the red heifers. We had a private buyer for the red heifers, so they did not go to market.
Two cattle liners arrived in the afternoon to load and ship the rest of the calves to Highwood Auction Mart in High River. We shipped 165 head of calves to market and we did really well at the sale. Our steers averaged 558 pounds and our heifers averaged 562 pounds.
The cows are now up at South Weaning Field. On November 13, the vet came out to preg check, vaccinate and de-worm the cow herd. Cows that aren’t pregnant will be shipped as it’s not cost effective to feed them through the winter if they aren’t going to produce a calf. We had 5% open cows in our herd giving us a 95% pregnancy rate.
This week, our winter supply of hay begins to arrive, so we will spend a lot of time unloading trucks. We will need approximately 400 bales of hay to get the cattle herd through the winter months. There’s still good grass now, but sometime in December, we will start feeding them hay and a mineral mix.
The herd’s health will be monitored and maintained through the winter.