Its that time of year, when we sell the bigger male cattle, for a host of reasons that I won't go into, but basically because 1. the money is good and 2. they aren't going to get any fatter from now on in and 3. money is required to keep the rest of the cattle enterprise chugging along. Bills to pay. You know the drill.
You may remember, the last steer mustering operation earlier in the year did not go as smoothly as one would hope. So this time around it was greeted with a little apprehension and worry. We booked our mate the chopper pilot in advance (last time we had hoped to not require his services) to flush the rascally steers out of the thick timber. Bigger steers, a bit like milking cows, seem to get rather opinionated about what they want to do (or not) but this time things went like clockwork. Our chopper pilot, an experienced cattle man, had the steers poking out of the woodworks very nicely, and advised the men on the ground to park up and let him do the work, and before they knew it, the steers were in the holding paddock, barely an hour after the chopper took to air. The men on the motorbikes then took control and and hour and a bit later the steers were in the yards. All well before smoko, my arrival on the scene half way home was hardly even warranted. I could have SLEPT IN!
I made this terribly exciting little video from the back of the mob. Just imagine this scene over a few hours in the hot sun, and that pretty much covers a morning or afternoon walking cattle in. Of course, things can get a little bit more hurried from time to time, however this is how you WANT it to be! Nice and steady.
We had time for a most leisurely smoko before the drafting and weighing commenced. My job was hardly taxing.
Sitting in the shade, reading and recording the weights. Occasionally I had to get off my bum and open and shut a gate, or persuade a reluctant customer to enter my office. It was hard work, I can tell you.
Four decks (two double decked trailers) were loaded this morning (I would have taken photos, but I was permitted to stay home, and sleeping in trumps taking photos any day!) and at some stage this evening these boys will board a southbound train, landing in Fiona's neck of the woods.
And I look forward to seeing the cheque in the mail :)