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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pull Yer Hat Down Tight

Today was one of those classic Windy Texas Panhandle kinda days. The wind had to be blowing at least 40 mph constantly all day. Fortunately it was out of the Northeast and things were a little cooler today. I love this time of year when I can wear a jacket half the morning and not burn up every afternoon. Can't really do that back home in Arkansas where there is much more humidity.

My day got off to a great start with some 6:00 pen moves where I got to watch the sunrise and drive the light trailer around. That thing is kinda fun to set up and drive around the yard. Guess it's just being in the spot light that gets me going. haha. I was setting gates in the alley and checking a few text messages before the moves (note it's still pitch black at this point) and walked smack into a gate. See more people are injured every year from 'Texting and Walking' than....well we'll just leave it at that. After that I walked through my new cattle and caught up on a little paper work.

I put out some aureomycin crumbles to the calves and set out on the water truck. The Mack and I are getting along better. You'll have to watch my Twitter page (@AR_ranchhand) for my updates and rants about fighting with that thing. I replaced the old stock tank I showed you yesterday. It was about time we got rid of the Holy tanks. The wind was blowing terribly hard this morning. So much that when I went to turn over one of the big stock tanks, it was all I had in me just to keep the thing blowing back on top of me. Try pushing a brick wall and you'll know what I'm talking about.
This is the ole Mack truck. I have to fill him up with water from the storage tank and bring water to the pens where calves need extra water to help with adjusting to automatic water troughs.

I helped to weigh our fat cattle shipment today. There is a lot of pressure to get accurate counts and double and triple check all of the withdrawal dates for our shipments. A calf with a medicine withdrawal will NEVER leave the yard. That is NEVER under any circumstances. We take that stuff pretty seriously around our yard. Every vaccine, medication, antibiotic, antimicrobial, supplement or whatever used in cattle has a researched number of days that is proven for the substance to be metabolized and out of the animals blood, endocrine, or whatever system it may be. So that pretty much takes care of all of the myths about meat being full of drugs and chemicals, because that just doesn't happen. We spend a lot of time, effort and money to make sure it doesn't.

A view from inside the scale house. The cowboys had a time fighting the wind. It's like watching a cartoon where someone walks against the wind and goes no where.
Alright, back to the subject, enough ranting. Anyway. I was helping to ship the fat cattle today and I couldn't help but notice all of the dirt in the air. It was blowing into the yard. Not out of it. The Handle was so windy today, dirt was blowing up from everywhere. Pastures, crop fields, roads, everything. Imagine the pictures of dust storms where visibility is reduced because of so much dirt in the air. Today was no Dust Bowl, but it was gettin there. The locals tell me I had better get used to these winds. I just don't know about that.

Well tomorrow is my day off work this week. Time to clean up a few things, run some errands in town, visit the Farm Bureau office, and take a nap. Maybe I'll watch the Temple Grandin film again. Hope you had a great day!
--ARranchhand