Boy-oh-Boy, we get a bunch of different load-out opportunities of calves and cows – but one of the most challenging was a couple of cowgirls from up in Illinois – what a wonder!
Usually when a customer is coming to pick up their cattle for Live Cover Breeding by one of our Herd Sires or a purchase of live cattle, they bring a covered trailer, mostly stock trailers but occasionally a horse trailer is used, but the most interesting and difficult is a pickup truck or SUV. Yes we have had some folks come with a cardboard partition around a large dog crate and pick up their newly purchased mini calf. A mini calf in the 300 – 400 pound range is a big lift to a none trailer ride and a lift to a high lifter truck is really a big-un!
Nancy sold two weanling bull calves to a non-profit children’s therapy group in Northern Illinois and after some negotiations they decided to send their director of the farm down to pick the two bull calves . . .
I always ask Nancy what the customer is bringing to pick up their animal with so I can make any custom panel arrangements for their comfort and a time saver for us both. As I exited the restroom on Saturday morning I asked the question. Boy was I floored when she said it would be a pick-up truck with a hand-made wooden crate in the back. “We can’t make a ramp to accommodate that high a lift in an hour’s time honey!” (and some other things that made her cry.) Well, after I apologized many many times, I went out to the corrals to survey what I could put together to make a secure ramp for these young bulls to roar up and into the back of that crate. How would we keep one in while the other was balking, was one of several questions going through my mind?
Then down the front drive I heard the whine of the Big Yellow Dodge 3500 4 wheel drive truck . . . oh my, the height was double of that on a “normal” pick-up . . . we could never ramp up to that. But I directed her to back into the 6′ gate side of the corrals.
As I looked over the situation I was perplexed as to what to do about the load up but Ms Jody had the idea that we could heft them up into the back of that rig – I could nearly cry at the thought of such a lift by myself with just a couple of girls to push. Geese what next!
But she was standing on the back of the truck and I could see the cut of her boots that she was no slacker, rather a young woman who had walked through a bunch of shit (manure). So I said, “OK, I guess we can hog tie um up and put em in the front end loader?” Her buddy Kristy suggested we get a halter on um and then we could pull them down and tie um up.
So the Mini Bull with a halter in place we were ready to open the bottom panel and drop and tie him up! Then the Rodeo began . . .
So, after the cowgirls rolled him out of the front end loader and rolled onto the upper deck, the other Mini Bull calf brought up and placed alongside they dropped the gate panel and untied them! Slick as a whistle and away they went up North. My daddy would have been proud of me and would have liked to meet those two girls. A real treat! Nancy did a great job taking photos so we’d have this recorded to share with y’all.