The first week in November is always a big week for us. Over that week most, if not all, ranchers in the valley sell and ship their calves. We calved out these babies, grown them over the summer, and then put the weight on them since weaning. I’ve said it over and over-this is the day we work for. Sale day is the day that makes every other day possible. And when its over we can finally relax (its only for like a day until we start thinking about the next year!).
We have had amazing growth over the last two months and it really showed on sale day. They were chubby, so chubby that we weighed in heavy! Seriously, fantastic! When we contract our calves, we contract less than what we have (mostly to hedge our bets because occasionally we contract before the calves are even born!). When we weigh heavy and have more calves than in the contract, that means there are more we can keep and sell on the side. Its like having two paydays! We do keep back anywhere from 90-115 heifer calves to keep for replacement heifers the next year.
The morning of sale day we bring the calves, already sorted into steers and heifers. We weigh all the calves, getting an average weight. Based on that weight, our broker will pick out any calves that he won’t be taking and then we reweigh those (to make sure we have the MOST accurate weight down). After the work of sorting and moving and weighing and reweighing its time to load the trucks. Once those trucks are full, they drive off into the sunset and we all live happily after. Ok, not really… It was noon so more like driving into the sun…. And its not all sunshine and roses, but having another year behind us is as sweet and satisfying as any fairy tale ending!