Saturday, March 23, 2013

Let's buy some cows

Since we're going to milk more cows, there has to be a way of getting those cows.

Easy, right? Just go to the cow store and get some? Exactly.

Getting cattle is a HUGE DEAL.

For instance, some farmers near us are unfortunately going out of business and selling their herd. They have good cattle - we've bought some before - so Kris wanted to go to their cattle auction to bid on some.

But before the auction there's the going to their farm to look at the cattle. And the looking at the lists of cattle. The cattle we get have to calve in the spring - they can't deliver at another time, since we have seasonal calving. We don't want any that are too old. And we want ones within our price range, of course!

And Kris couldn't even go to the auction, because he had a co-op meeting he had to attend! So he sent my dad (my brother in law went too) with a list to see what happened.

The cattle were really popular! We bought some - and we're happy for the farmers that they got a good haul for their herd.

We've also been negotiating with another farm about four hours away. There's so much to think about - vaccinations, how they walk, what their udders are like, if they have hairy heel warts - and to figure out between the seller and the buyer.

Then, after that's all figured out, there's the picking up!

I've discussed frost laws before - you can't drive heavy loads on the road when the 'frost laws are on' because it wrecks the roads. So we can't truck a heavy load of cattle ... just smaller loads.

So we're paying a guy whose entire business is trucking cattle to make two separate trips with three separate trailers to get all the cattle we want to truck to our house. (Kris pointed out that our area, due to all the farms, can support a cattle trucking company. This would not work everywhere.)

Of course, he has to go super early in the morning, because the trucker has other people he trucks for on a regular basis. (He picks up calves from farms on certain days to take to a calf raiser.)

They'll be leaving super early ... but I figure, unlike me, guys who drive trucks don't have a tendency to get lulled to sleep while driving.

So between the lists, the purchasing contracts, the auctions, the trucking ... I'll be happy when our cows and heifers are here, safe in their new home.


Julie said...

Oh my! It sounds like a lot of work! You need to consider how the cow walks?! Jeesh! In any event, looking forward to taking a peek at your new cows, and calves this Spring!

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