April 18, 2008

Settling into Rural life

Week 10 – The big Muster

The big muster began, assisted by TJ & Birgit while they were here. They helped moved them all into the house paddock.

Chris and I had to put all the stock through the yards, drench the cows and separate the calves. We let all the really little ones go as they are at risk of being crushed, especially as they move up the race.

You always put the stock through the yards the same way so they get used to the routine.

We picked out nearly 30 heifers and young bulls to go to sale. We fetched a good price too, which provided some much-needed cash flow! There are lots of adjustments being made to this lifestyle and the change in cash flow is definitely one of them. Though you don’t need much cash on a day-to-day basis, as there is no shop nearby! The closest shop is 30 minutes drive to the highway and sells home made pies and fuel.

Week 11– Muster continues

The big muster continued at CAMBREN (our second property about 6 kilometres down the road). Unfortunately, at the end of the muster, Chris took a tumble on the bike trying to keep his hat on his head and badly twisted in ankle – pinned under the bike. The cow-work still had to be done: drenching, separating and branding the calves. It was a full days work in significant pain.

Chris was unable to drive so this meant I had to take over the “boy” work. This is very challenging and meant I had to do things like:

  • back up the trailer to the yard ramp to load an escaped heifer that belonged at the other end of Spring Creek. Are you any good at backing trailers? I’ve never done it before and definitely need a lot more practice!
  • Attach the fork lift to the tractor and manoeuvre it to pick up the feeding tank;
  • Hose out the cow wee and poo from the trailer so it doesn’t rust (yuk!)

and other stuff like that including lifting, pulling and shoving things.

Again I felt what a challenge this lifestyle is when things have to keep moving and you find yourself in a position where you have to keep trying to achieve a task at hand no matter how difficult and how much you want to stop and have someone else do it for you. It is very much a growing experience.

To be honest, I think it takes a fair bit of guts and determination (even if sometimes it is mixed with tears) – more than I knew I had!

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