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We finally gave up on the slaughter cow market and decided to cut our losses. Today we sent two tri loads of old cows to Calgary and tomorrow we are sending 60 of the younger cows to Virden. It seems like there is more competition there for the young cows that can be mouthed to go to the US. Last year at this time we were selling cull cows in the high 50 cents a pound. This year we will be in the low 40 cents. We have been through these cows several times since we purchased them last Nov-Dec and have pulled all the good useable angus cows off to keep and breed for another year. The calves range in age from 6 weeks to 5 months so getting them weaned and eating is going to be a struggle for some of them. Its just too bad they were not angus sired as some of them are not worth much even if we do get them going.
In a way it was a bit of a sad day as 436Y also got on the truck. She was our oldest cow here and at 20 years of age lost her calf at birth. She was on display at last years bull sale and had a few years left in her, but to let her run open a year at that age didn’t seem to make sense. Our next oldest cow is 17 this year and then there are quite a few 15 year olds. It is amazing to see these old cows bring in big bull calves year after year.
Dads always said that you can buy cattle and machinery any day, but land may only be available once. So when our neighbour let us know he wanted to sell a half section within 2 miles of our home quarter, we decided to buy. The hay hasn’t been cut on it yet so we will hopefully begin cutting when it stops raining. Although I hope it rains an inch before it stops. It looks like we be able to second cut about 350 acres but that will be all, as we have had well below normal rain and temperature.
Anyone that owns cattle has had the dreaded phone call from the neighbour that the cows were out. In this case the cows were still on our own crop land so no upset neighbours, but I still don’t like it. Since we started using electric fence 10 years ago the number of times we have had cows out has been minimal, often the power has been shorted out for weeks before the cows discover the problem. There is nothing more satisfying than find the problem, fixing it, and then watching the cows discover the fence is now hot.
Its showering off and on today so I had a chance to check pastures. Carbon Copy looked like he was having a slow afternoon as none of his 45 cows were cycling right then. The thing I enjoy the most about the purebred angus business is being able to ride out and look at these productive cattle.