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Annual Cattle Roundup

August 5, 2020

Every year we bring the mama cows, bulls, and calves up to the corral where we "work" them.

Since the day starts early, we move them into the pivot pasture late the evening before. That way we know we have everyone the next morning.

So, what is involved in this "working" of the cows? Well, it is basically a modified cowboy wrangler day. You know, where the cowboys on their horses would bring up the cows and separate out the calves that would then be roped and tied so the expert could brand, castrate, etc.

Except our method does not involve horses. We move them by walking them into the corral where we sort them and move them a few at a time. We don't use ropes to catch and tie them up- our tool is called a head gate/squeeze shoot. We use this to catch the calves just behind the head and hold them still.

Once in the head gate our expert, called a Veterinarian, will castrate the male calves and give an antibiotic to help them overcome the operation. All calves receive a Blackleg shot because a long time ago this disease was on the farm. All calves also receive an ear tag - a unique number just for them. The ear tag replaces the cowboy brand.

The mama cows receive a single Lepto shot. This prevents them from aborting the calve they are carrying in case they happen to eat grass that was infected by a possum, raccoon, skunk, coyote, etc. that carries the Lepto virus. The shot is typically given to the cow while she is standing in the alley leading up to the head gate - thus, we do not have to catch her in the head gate. So, her experience is simple and very low stress.

We will also have the Vet "preg-check" certain cows to confirm they are pregnant. These cows are caught in the head gate. The Vet uses a long plastic glove... well, you get the picture!

One cow was held back as she did not pass the "preg-check" and later taken to Homestead Packing to become hamburger.

I had also arranged to sell one of the bulls to a man I have been consulting with to build a poultry processing plant. So, he was held back pending the new owners arrival to pickup.

When it was said and done we worked 120 head in just under 2.5 hours.

And, when Greg picked up the bull he also bought two PorterHouse Steaks. He had told me that all the grass fed beef he had tried was not good! So, he wanted to try our grass fed beef. Later that evening he sent me a text picture of the steak and wrote "It's Great - I'm Sold"! He then asked "100% grass no grain?" YEP... "Seriously, it was great!" YEP... grass fed beef will either be the best or worse beef you eat - depending mostly on the farmer that raised them.

Organic Consumers Association - Organic Bytes

Thanks to Teri for sending me her copy of today's Organic Bytes. The lead article was on JBS - the worlds largest beef producer. It included brands they sell under, distribution channels, major customers, and scandals (JBS agreed to pay one of the biggest fines in global corporate history - $3.2bn - after admitting bribing hundreds of politicians).

It was actually the third article that caught my attention. Titled "Food First" it highlighted a article published in April on how to best defeat the coronavirus: Fix your health, by fixing your diet. That was my whole point in sharing my health checkup in last weeks newsletter. It can be done - and you can do it!

Please click here to read the full articles.​

A. Hamilton recently left this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Google Review:

"It has been MANY years since I actually tasted chicken, and it helps my heart knowing they are not tortured in a factory. Thank you Ben & Beth for all your hard work. -my family loves you for it."

Ben Simmons

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