I freely admit that I dislike working with cattle in the yards and Philip only called upon me as a last resort. However, the "last resort" was happening more often so I am happy that is now finished. What I will miss though is the morning walk when I could say hello to the cows and their caves, and get to know their individual traits. Some of our cattle are "pat quiet" others look at you with disdain. One thing is for sure though that they are all quiet cattle and by that I mean that there is no vice in any of them. You can walk through them in the cattle yards and they just quietly move out of the way.
So, yesterday our morning started at 5.30 am. when Philip mustered the cattle into the yards and we drafted off the calves from the cows. By 7.00 am our "cross loading" body truck had arrived and by 7.30 am we had our first load ready for the the B-Doubles waiting on the bitumen pad 100 metres from our gate.
For those of you that don't know what cross loading is I will try to explain.
The B-Double trucks cannot enter our property because they are too long so we get the truck drivers to wait at the bitumen pad while we load a body truck that then transports the cattle to the waiting trucks. The body truck reverses up to the B-Double and the cattle then move, via a ramp, from one truck to another. As we had six decks of cattle to be loaded it was twelve trips for the body truck that carried a half deck.
It poured rain yesterday while we were loading the cattle, that seemed like a fitting way to say goodbye to the cattle. They now have a journey of almost 1600 km that will take about 36 hours to complete. We gave the cattle plenty of room to move around on the trucks so that when the truck drivers have to stop for a log book break the cattle will be able to lie down. It's the best we could do.