How to: Haul Cattle to the Sale barn

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If you were raised on a farm or are a transplant to a farm, you know there are many reasons to take cattle to the sale barn. But if you weren’t raised up around cattle productions, let me tell you some of the reasons that you might take them to the sale barn…

  • Drought – There’s no grass for them to eat and you don’t want them to starve.
  • Money – Sometimes you need the money so you sell what you have.
  • Culling – Sometimes you have an animal that doesn’t fit your bovine (technical) program so you get rid of it to replace it with another animal that suits your program.
  • Mean – Sometimes cows can be mean. Why keep them if they are? My grandpa had one break his hip once, that cow left so she didn’t hurt any one else.
  • You want out of the Cow business – Self explanatory.

And there are many other reasons, these are just a few.

One misconception about cattle breeders. Yes, there are a few lemons out there; meaning there are people who don’t take care of their animals, but most people take better care of their animals than they do themselves. Our animals eat before we do. They rely on us so obviously we take excellent care of them. And yes there are those who don’t take care of their animals but there are many more who do than don’t. You just hear about those who don’t in the media. They try to promote that more than the happy animals! Just saying!

So here’s your how to on hauling cattle to the sale barn:

What you need:

  • A truck
  • A Trailer
  • Cows
  • A horse
  • A couple people
  • A fence system
  • A Cow dog (optional)

First you’ll want to make sure your fence system is in place. We have a couple different options at our house but this particular day we went with the portable system. We were only loading a couple cows so it was easier. Our reason for selling these particular cows is they are bulls and we can’t breed our herd with home raised bulls because they’re related to other cows we own. We’ve used the same bull for a few years now.

We put Tbug up on Aloha. She and Grandpa on KG brought the cows up from the pasture and sorted out the bulls from the rest of the herd. Hubby ran the gate for them to let the cows back out into the pasture.

Then Grandpa tied KG up but Tbug stayed on Aloha to go ahead and push the calves up into the trailer.

Once the calves were loaded and the door was latched, it was time to tear down the temporary fence. Unsaddle the horses, brush them off and put them in their stall for evening feedings.

The bulls waited patiently.

Then Tbug and Grandpa loaded up in the truck and off to the sale barn they went.

At the sale barn you have to check the animals in. You have to decide if you’re going to sell them as a single lot (just yours) or co-mingle them (add them to other animals of the same size/shape/etc) to sell them.

Once they’re checked in then you go and back into the sale barn. Not literally back in although I did that once. Grandpa (aka my dad) forgot to tell me to stop. I couldn’t see the poll because of the sun bouncing off of the roof of the sale barn and the shadows it created. Yup, I actually backed the trailer into the sale barn. Oh well.

Once the cattle are unloaded and secured into the barn pens (so they can’t get out and hurt themselves or anyone else… remember cows are domesticated and rely on people to care for them. They aren’t wild like deer for example) then you pull away and head home.

They sold the next day.

And that is how you take cattle to the sale barn. And in case you aren’t sure what a bull is, it is the male bovine who does the breeding of the cows (older bovine females who have calved once+) and heifers (bovine females who have never calved).

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