Sorting heifers can bring unique challenges

When purchasing bred heifers, it is important to know their expected calving date and vaccination history. (Photo courtesy of Kansas State University Research and Extension.)
"Just A Scoopful" - Jerry Nine
“Just A Scoopful” – Jerry Nine

I have heard for a lot of years that if you have a set of bred heifers and you decide to sort off the ones that you think will calve first that often there will be one in the not so close bunch that will calve first.

I had sold 14 bred heifers to a man who asked me to sort off five or so that looked like they would calve any day. So as I did I kept looking and actually sorted 10 of the 14 that looked very close. Then a lady called a week later and said there is a baby calf on the wrong side of the fence where the four bred heifers were. I thought, well I don’t think one of those four calved so perhaps that calf was from the cows across the road.

You know the story we all have more faith in our own judgment than anyone else does. So yes it was one of the four that had calved. So if any of you need me to sort off the heavy bred heifers then give me a call but simply take the not so close ones to the house instead of the heavy bred ones.

But now that I think of it at the sale sometimes the vet gets his numbers mixed up too. So see I’m not the only idiot. But it’s like a man told me not long ago. He said you are not the dumbest person in the world but you better hope that dumbest person doesn’t die.

Good market

The cow and bull slaughter market is a lot better these past two weeks. And if you haven’t paid attention the grazing market, whether weaned or not, is very good—you will be surprised how much a head or pound they will bring.

There are two guys that buy cattle at the sale barn every week. They were both at the truck stop in Woodward and were at the counter paying for what they had bought. One guy is a pretty big guy and I don’t mean pretty. The other guy is half his size but you wouldn’t call him skinny either. The guy at the cash register didn’t appear to look like the sharpest cookie in the jar. Well let’s just say he and I would be about the same.

So I walked up behind these two friends but said to the clerk, “Hey this big guy here put several things in his pocket.” Then I said, “That is if you can tell which one is the big guy.” The smaller guy said, “Well thanks a lot.” So then I asked the clerk, “Do you all do strip search here?” The guy said, “I am out—I am out!”

Editor’s note: The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the view of High Plains Journal. Jerry Nine, Woodward, Oklahoma, is a lifetime cattleman who grew up on his family’s ranch near Slapout, Oklahoma.