We worked this set of 400 lb. calves today.
I was “alley help” pushing the calves up toward the “chute help.”
We gave them shots to prevent illness and shiny new ear tags so they could be identified. Kaitlyn is our tagging girl.
I enjoy working calves. It is hard work; but we talk as we go. There is usually some good natured teasing and laughter. Most of our hired hands are in the hay field right now; so my brother Jet came over to help. He is learning Spanish and Kaitlyn is learning American Sign Language so it was a multilingual experience! Note that Garrett is working and they are all sharing a joke. Lol
Jet teased me for saying this calf was so cute… but don’t you agree? He is so cute! Number 1899—My new fav 🙂
I am sure Jet’s horse, Newt, agrees with me….
Or at least that’s what Newt told my dog, Bonnie…
Anyway, these guys are a nice set of calves; but they are sneaky! Don’t let their innocent faces fool you. I came to know this bunch very well early Thursday morning. They are sly, I tell you.
When you receive a 2 a.m. phone call from the Sheriff’s office it is never good news.
We were told we “had cattle out.” Ordinarily, when cattle escape they just need a little encouragement go back to their home pasture. These guys didn’t know where to go! We had purchased the freshly weaned calves Wednesday so are ranch was not yet “home” for them.
They found an unlatched gate and wandered for miles in the dark night. Their mostly black color only made the search for them more difficult. They were scattered in pairs and singles for miles on the backroads near our ranch.
I followed a couple of them on foot for a mile with my phone flashlight only for them to dart and run! This is my attempt at photographing the two culprits…
I am not sure that multiple sheriff cars with lights flashing and occasional sirens blaring helped calm them much. It was a beautiful night out; but I prefer to be sleeping at this time…
By 4:30 in the morning, Roger and I were still searching for missing cattle.
When we would find one or two, we would attempt to get them across the highway and back up our lane without one of them panicking!
Our somewhat well-meaning but over-aggressive blue heeler dog, Sadie, did not make it any easier. Sadie redeemed herself today by helping my daughter Kye push cattle toward the working chute.
Out of the 25 original calves, we are still two calves short.
Two little guys still unaccounted for! We discuss other places to look and we drive the back roads. Men have rode horseback through pastures and we have called all the landowners surrounding our property. We are searching! Most likely they joined a neighbor’s herd and hopefully we will find them soon. But for now, no little lost calves to be found.
These calves are very valuable to us. We will keep searching for them. Jesus tells a parable in Luke chapter 15 about a man having 100 sheep and losing one. “Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” (verse 4) A rancher or farmer or shepherd will search and search for the lost one. Then they will rejoice when it is found. The lost animal is valuable.
You are valuable.
The people around you are valuable. Jesus was being criticized for eating with “sinners” and ministering to them. Jesus is a good shepherd. He explained that “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (verse 7)
Searching for the lost doesn’t make the ones still in the fold any less valuable. Let us rejoice in the lost being returned. Let us search diligently for those who are wandering aimlessly through life and bring them to Jesus with great rejoicing. Let us continue the search…
Resident Cow-Puncher and Bovine Search and Rescue Crew