It was the perfect day for a round up.
Sunny, 20 degrees and the dirt roads were still frozen solid, making for good driving. Better than the mud we had 2 weeks ago and the mud that is coming soon.
A young woman came to pick up the 3 heifers she reserved several weeks ago. She has a dream of raising quality grass fed beef and having her own herd plus a processing facility and butcher shop.
My heifers are her foundation stock. Her beginning. Their future. Her future. All entwined.
To date, all my heifers and cows that I have sold have become foundation stock for new herds.
It only took 10 minutes and 2 packages of Nabisco Graham Crackers to get the girls into the corral.
Early training with these treats really pays off.
I got a special bale of 2nd cut sweet grass hay for them yesterday just for this event. They loved it. It kept them busy for 2 hours.
During that time I kept evaluating them with my eye... and my heart.
These heifers are thick, wide, long, calm and friendly, with 40 years of grass fed genetics and just the right blend of Simmental influence and British breeds. In their genes they have incredible maternal traits: high milk, fast growth, fertility, pigment and the always desirable: longevity. Top quality.
And smart!! The trailer door opened and the three of them jumped right in,
No fuss, no hesitation.
Easy Peasy. Amen. Fastest loading ever.
There was delicious hay for them in the trailer and I fed them a few more of their sweet treats.
A box of Nabisco grahams went with their new owner with implicit instructions for daily feedings.
I never wanted to sell these wonderful girls. They are my replacement heifers to grow my own herd. They were my future. But as with most farmers like me, we walk a very thin line with finances and the cost of gas to commute to my off-farm job has burned a huge hole in my pocket.
I will miss these three special girls, but their future awaits. They have a job now and they will do it well.
GrandSlam Kate, Willa & Glory--Make me proud!
FYI: To everyone in New England who is looking to buy heifers "in the spring"---do it now. There are not enough heifers on the face of the planet to satisfy demand.
Find your heifers, PUT A DEPOSIT ON THEM and pick them up in April or May if you must--but RESERVE NOW, or miss out!!! Yearling steers are also impossible to find. And worse yet is that breeding bulls are harder to find because breeders are turning all their bulls into STEERS because they can get more $ if they process them into meat. Consumer demand has shifted and to meet that demand many things are changing rapidly on the beef producer side as well. Buy early and buy more than you need if you can get it. Good Luck!