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Not enough days in the season

Eppich News: Two loads of calves taken to market just part of the fall projects

Oct. 14 was weaning day for our Eppich Quarter Horse foals. The foals weren’t too upset, but the mommas were. Within just a few days the corral quieted down and everyone accepted the change.

The next day we took a load of calves on the two-horse trailer into Provost, Alta. for the sale the next day. We still had the cows out in three different pastures but there were enough sale animals at our Landis pasture that we loaded up my Danny horse, rounded up the cows, sorted off the sale heifers and one steer, and then loaded the calves and went to Provost. I pulled my saddle off Danny and he spent a few days out with the cows. After unloading the calves at Provost, we continued to Sedgewick, Alta. to pick up our new brood mare. She is very well bred and a really sweet girl, so she will fit right in.

The next several days Gregory and John were busy doing some fall land work. I brought Danny home from the pasture Oct. 18 and broke the ice so the cows could drink. It snowed Oct. 20, so we decided to move the cows that were on the native pasture close to home and take them to the native pasture at Landis where we had three pair and the bred heifers.

First, we loaded up the calves and brought them all home and then we loaded up the cows and trailered them over to Landis. When we got there, the cows and heifers already at the pasture were very interested in the trailer full of cows we had just brought. We were able to easily round them up and put them in the corral. We then sorted off the three calves and put them in the front of the trailer with Danny behind them, and let the cows off the old stock trailer.

Second load of calves

I drove over to the other Landis pasture and turned Danny loose so that I could use him to round up the cows to sort off the second load of sale calves to go to Provost. We knew that the three big steers were not going to fit in the front of the two-horse trailer and so rather than make two trips, I left Danny to have a second holiday out with the cows.

Due to the cold temperatures, Joseph and James and I had to break ice for the cows every morning. Having the cows all over at Landis made it a lot easier.

On Oct. 22 we loaded up the steers at home and then went over to the Landis pasture and I used Danny to round up the cows and sort off the sale calves. They were loaded in the trailer and then we took them to Provost. We then went back to the Landis pasture and loaded up the heifers that we are keeping and brought them home, and left Danny out at the pasture again. By that night we had all of the sale calves hauled to market, the keeper heifers home to be weaned, and all of the cows split between the two pastures at Landis thereby making it to where we only had to break ice at Landis.

We were feeling pretty accomplished until we discovered that the bulls had torn down the corral fence while fighting. John had found them on his front yard and had managed to chase them back to the back bin yard and closed the gate. The old bull and the stallion who had been living with them were both back by the bull pen. They were both on the wrong side of the flat fence, but content to stay in the grassing pen which I had made for the old gelding this summer. It consisted of a single hot wire which was not hot. Gregory and I took the post pounder truck and put in eight posts and stood the fence back up and then put the bulls and the stallion back in the pen and called it a day.

Gregory and John continued doing fall fieldwork until the frost made it too difficult. We then went to work baling the slough grass. Gregory took the haybine out and I followed behind him with the baler. A lot of the bales will be used as bedding but some of them will be decent enough to supplement the horses out on the home half. There is no such thing as having too many bales around here. By Nov. 3 we finished making slough bales.

About the author


Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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