Minges Show Cattle

Diary of Cathy Minges – Week 5 – December 27-31

Monday, December 27, 2010

Allen up early to get chores done. Today is the last day to have the cattle ready before the trip to Zanesville. All the cattle fed, bedded and watered before he starting washing the heifer they will finish clipping today. I worked at the Farm Bureau office. After washing the heifer, Allen blew the heifer dry so her hair is clean and dry for clipping.  They will clip her indoors since it is bitter cold weather. After they finished clipping they loaded the flat-bed trailer with all the equipment they will need for the sale. Allen put out round bales of hay for the cattle. Finished feeding the cattle and other chores and in the house around 6:30. I worked on registration papers for the heifer we are selling. Made a pork lion and all the fixings for supper!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Allen up early to feed cattle and get his chores done. I worked at the Farm Bureau office today. Plans changed this morning for meeting the semi to load our cattle on for the trip to Zanesville. The semi driver did not want to move cattle right off the highway but wanted to go to a stock yard facility which would add another 1-2 hours in the transport. Allen decided he would just trailer our cattle to Zanesville himself and not bother with the semi. Loaded the cattle and hit the road around 10 am for the trip. Arrived at Zanesville and unloaded the cattle and supplies. Scott left around 11 am with the flat-bed trailer and would be staying the night in Zanesville with the cattle. The semi left Wyatt’s around 11 for the 6 hour trip. Carrie and Wyatt finished up chores at their place, then left after lunch for the long drive. Carrie drove their truck and trailer to Indy while Wyatt sleep, he was up all night clipping and this was the first rest he had. Allen returned home around 5 pm and started his evening chores. After I arrived home we left for Scott’s to put out feed in his creep feeders. A creep feeder is a feeder with gates that is for small calves to eat from; the cows cannot get to the feed. The bulk feed was supposed to be at his place this morning around 6:30 am but did not arrive until the afternoon. He has about 40 cows and calves on this pasture. Scott has a friend doing the barn pens at the home place so Allen just had to fill the feeders. Scott had a young guy there when we arrived that was A/I breeding three cows for him. He is a veterinary student at Purdue and works at the vet clinic when he can with Sheri. Scott helps a lot of people out that way with their cattle operations and they are always willing to help him out when he needs them. Scott called as we were filling the feeders to say that the bulls in one of the pens across the road were out and we needed to get them in. It was dark when Allen finished filling the feeders, then we went across the road to get the bulls in. He had seven bulls that each weigh around 1,200-1,300 lbs. out in the paddock and they just needed to be put back in their lot. They have a lot of acreage there and the pens are several acres with their own waterers, feeders and hay rings. Allen got the bulls back in their lot and secured the gate with a log chain. It seemed funny to use a log chain but Scott did not want them out and  surely they will not break this chain. Stopped in Harrison to pick up some food and drink supplies Allen will take with them and we brought sandwiches home for supper. Home around 8:30 p.m. Long day for Allen and the rest of them.

Wednesday, December 29. 2010

Allen up early today to get chores done before he hit the road again to Zanesville. He was picking up two girls from Butler County that were going to help with cattle. The weather temperature is much better today than what it has been. The warmer temperatures will make washing cattle outside much easier on the washers! He picked the girls up at Seven Mile and then off for a busy day. I met Sheri to pick up Cole at 7:35 am today. With her semester of school over she is back to an 8-5 schedule for the week. Did the usual day off chores for me; cleaning and laundry. Visited my parents late morning and back home for lunch and a nap for Cole. Allen and girls arrived around 10:30 a.m. and started a long day of getting the cattle ready. Wyatt also had three guys hired that would help with the cattle today and tomorrow. The girls spent most of the day blowing the cattle dry after they were washed again. Wyatt had more clipping to do so he, Scott and Carrie spent the day doing this. Allen kept the pens clean and stayed near the sale cattle talking with potential buyers. Cole and I met Sheri for dinner at Harrison. I fed and checked on the cows when I returned. I have R/A and not a lot of strength in my hands and have trouble picking up 50 pounds of feed. So Allen pours what I need for feeding in five gallon buckets and this makes it much easier for me to put out feed. My parents, Jim and Evelyn Booker, live on a farm on the next road over and always volunteer to help out in any way they can. My dad does the work when we are away and we are grateful to have family we can count on. Having livestock to care for daily makes it hard to go away and you have to have someone you can rely on or you will worry about the cattle the entire time you are gone! Quiet tonight at the house after such a busy week. Allen called around 7:30 pm to say they were on their way to eat and finished for the day. Everyone tired tonight and the big day is tomorrow.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

All were up for the sale around 4 a.m. today and started getting cattle ready. They ran the cattle through chutes where they cleaned them and blew them off with the blowers…again. Having washed them the day before, all the cattle were pretty clean. All the cattle for the sale would be “fitted” in sale order. Fitting the cattle involves using adhesive on the legs to pull the hair up and finishing with final bloom, like a hair spray that makes the hair shiny. Some of the cattle were led in the sale ring on halters and the others just went in on their own. Allen thought there were over 500 people in attendance for the sale. The cattle sold well and all were pleased with the outcome. I took a day of vacation today, originally hoping to go to the sale but changed my mind due to my hip problem. I fed for Allen in the morning. Not many to feed now that all the sale cattle are gone. I had to go to the bank and pay some bills. Feed bill should go down now until February when the cows start calving. After the sale, they were all busy loading up the trailers to bring the supplies and equipment home. I fed the cows and checked on everything for the evening. Allen and the girls pulled out of Zanesville around 7 p.m. with the livestock trailer and three head back home. These three head that Wyatt sold were headed to Texas and the buyer made arrangements to have the cattle picked up near Harrison. Scott followed with his truck and flatbed trailer. Carrie and Wyatt on the road back to IN, had to drop off two guys around Indy. Allen met one of the girls’ dad near I-63 and Rt 4 to drop the girls off. They slept most of the way home and were worn out! Allen got home around 10 p.m. and checked on the cows before coming in for a shower. The driver came around 11:30 pm to pick up the three head for Texas. Allen was grateful to Taylor and Karen for their help with the sale. These girls are great examples of hard-working teenagers and both know the ins-and-outs of fitting and showing cattle. They were a big help for the sale.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year’s Eve! Allen was a little slower getting up this morning, worn out from the long week. Allen fed the cattle, checked bedding and finished his morning chores before he left for Scott’s. He had to switch trucks and unload trailers. Scott had a lot of work to catch up on so they got the trailers unloaded and Allen back home around lunchtime. Scott had to pick up Cole at the sitters. Sheri was suppose to be off at noon but they had an emergency surgery at the vet clinic. Grilled out hamburgers for lunch, nice treat with the warmer weather. Allen put out round bales of hay and scraped the concrete. Put out more bedding before he washed his truck and trailer. Finished up chores early tonight as we had plans to meet my sister and family at the Hollywood Casino and later out for dinner at Whiskey’s in Lawrenceburg, IN. Nice way to end the year.

We take a lot of pride in our small farm and providing excellent care to our cattle. Working off the farm and farming keeps us busy seven days a week but allows us to be able to make a living to support ourselves and also to maintain our deep roots to farming and raising cattle. In 2007, over 67 percent of Ohio farmers worked off the farm at least one day a week or more. Starting on closing the books for the year end and we are making plans for some improvements that we will do at our place. Living on a farm where money can be very tight, you learn a lot of different skills needed to maintain your operation.  We are animal care-givers, bookkeepers, fence builders, machinery repairmen, painters, masons, barn and bin builders, as well as a farmer. We will have a break for a few weeks before we start getting ready for the first calf. 2010 has been a good year for Minges Show Cattle and we are excited to see what the next calf crop brings us! Happy New Year’s from Minges Show Cattle to you and your families.





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