Newt, ReeRee, and I headed east last weekend to help Mom and Dad move bulls. Dad raises Angus 2-year old bulls (sold in February). The new crop, or yearlings, have been drylotted over the winter months (fed ground hay, corn, distillers grains- leftovers from the ethanol process in a large pen). Yearling bulls remind me of junior high boys, with lots of energy but the lack of experience or coordination to get there.
Grandma Susy and ReeRee were in the pickup and trailer ahead of the bulls on the county road (to keep oncoming cars from smashing into the herd). Dad, Newt, and myself were horseback, driving the bulls from behind and steering them in the correct direction.
The gate swung and 90 super excited bulls bellowed, jumped, kicked, and stampeded towards freedom and the wide open pasture. Their first stop was a line of round bales of prairie hay. Ninety bulls proceeded to rub the bales, itching off old hair. After some round-and-rounds, the bulls were chased in the direction of the next gate. More bucking and kicking and rubbing their giant heads in the ditch. The bulls looked like ghosts with their white, sandy heads and dark black bodies.
ReeRee even rode Rodrigo with me. She was disappointed when she had to go back in the pickup, so I could wrangle the bulls at a gate. ReeRee is too small to keep her balance in the saddle, and I didn’t want her falling from the horse if we had to lope (run) and turn a bull back.
Eleven miles is a long ways for a bunch of bulls kept in a pen all winter. Eleven miles was a long ways for me- I haven’t been on a horse since last fall. But the bulls moved quickly and the weather stayed cool, until we made it to the Bull Pasture.
The bulls will eat lush, green grass all summer. We will bring them back to the main ranch in the fall, so they can start on a winter ration, and then be sold in February.
But the bulls’ favorite time of year- being turned out in the spring with their very, own herd of cows. What these junior high boys have to look forward to!