We’ve had over 100 weaners out in the paddock gaining weight over the last year. It was time to muster, i.e bring them in and sort them out. We wanted to identify what was ready to go to market and find out how many heifers were ready to see the bull.
First we have to find them. Mustering in our large paddocks (some around 1,000 acres) can be quite challenging.
You have to know exactly how many you need to find, by referring to our stock control database, before you start. We check the usual haunts first, around the dams, favourite corners or hills. Of course it’s easy to find 80%. It’s the other 20% that can take the most time and energy.
They can be a bit harder to move the closer you get to the yards. Sometimes you have to get very assertive and demanding, especially at the point of no return, i.e. where the stock have no choice but to go into the yards.
Separate the Steers
Once they are safely secured in the yards, we start sorting them out and weighing them. We also drench them to protect them against worms and other parasites.
We have to separate the steers (castrated bulls) from the heifers (young cows). We want to put the steers on supplementary feed (hay and grain) to prepare them for market in a few weeks.
The heifers that are big enough (over 250 kg) are ready to see the bull. He was very happy about that. Not only did he escape the yards where he had been for a few nights, he left with a bunch of young new flirty girl friends.
It was a productive day with steers now in the house yard on feed, the bigger heifers off with the bull and the small heifers returned to pasture to grow out a bit more.