Cattle Roundup – Fall 2013 – Part 1

Come every fall, the nutrient quality of the grass at the summer pasture goes down, the nights grow colder, and it’s time for the cattle to come home.


We get them home via semi trucks. To get them on the trucks, first we have to get them into a smaller space than the 200 acres of the pasture.


There is a corral built by Harland’s dad near the road gate and the cattle need to be coaxed into the corral. Harland does this by calling them up to the corral and then feeding them grain as a reward. He calls them up regularly in the weeks leading up to the move, as practice is needed for some of the cows and a lot of the calves who have never been called up before.

The day before the cattle are loaded on the trucks, Harland drives out to the center of the pasture and calls them in for the last time. As the cattle gather round the truck he drives up to the corral with the cattle following along behind. Kinda like the Pied Piper.

Some of them don’t respond to his calls, and need to be chased in:


Fortunately, most of the cattle are all ears and eyes, hanging on every move Harland makes, following him around like big dogs.


“He has grain! Grain is so yummy!”


Once everyone is inside the corral, Harland pours out the grain, and while the cattle are busy munching away with their heads in the troughs, Harland closes the corral gate.

Here’s a short video:

The cattle have been caught, and they don’t even know it. Oh, the power of grain.

The next morning at sunrise, we load the cattle onto the trucks for the ride home.




Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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8 Responses

  1. JB says:

    Now why didn’t my dad call the cattle?! He’d just saddle up 3 horses [for my 2 sisters and me] and he’d drive the truck along the edge of the pasture while we pushed the cattle along behind. We always thought he had the easy job!!

  2. Pat says:

    Loved the two-part harmony with a couple of the cattle singing along with Harland.

  3. Denise J. says:

    This brought a huge smile to my face. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Lorraine says:

    You were right they come along like dogs… Who would have thought? The ones that don’t come when called just want Harlan’s undivided attention. No snow out your way yet?

  5. Teresa says:

    Grain is very powerful. 🙂

  6. Chester's Mom says:

    Love Harland’s cattle call! It seems every farmer/rancher has a slightly different call, but each accomplishes the same result. Your post put a smile on my face!

  7. Jeanne says:

    I’ve never seen anything like that! I had no idea that cattle would come when called! Almost better than my dog! Fascinating!!

  8. Kerry says:

    Oh your post brought back so many memories of growing up on the farm. My dad used to call “Come boss! Come bossy bossy!” All the cows had names and their own personalities. I used to love watching the calves play. Hope you, Harland and Kitty have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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