How To Call In The Herd

Last spring, we hauled the cattle down to the summer pasture where they enjoyed a leisurely few months of sun, grass, wading in the pond, and most importantly, time away from the pesky humans (us). Sadly for them, the time has come for them to come home. We line up a couple semi trucks, load all the cattle up, and drive them back north to spend the winter close to home where we can feed them hay and later take care of them as they have their calves in March. But first, we have to get all of them rounded up out of the 200 acre pasture.  In our part of the country, this is done not with horses, but by calling them up to the corral.

Here’s how it’s done:


My hubby is the Pied Piper of the pasture.  By the way, Harland is yelling :  WHOOOOOOOO, CALF, and BOSS.   I asked Harland if he learned to call them this way from his Dad, and he said yes, everybody around here does it this way.

And why do the cattle come when we call? Grain.

They love grain more than their luggage. So in the weeks leading up to the move, Harland calls them repeatedly up to the corral and feeds them grain, so they get used to coming when he calls them. Then on the big day, he calls them up, they enter the corral, and Harland closes the gate.

By the way, did you see Panda Calf in the video? He was the first calf born to the heifers last spring, and I took lots of pics and video of him then. Click here to see what he looked like at a week old.  Amazing how much he’s grown. Here he is today:

After Harland closes the gate to the corral, we leave them for the night. Early the next morning the trucks arrive, and the cattle are loaded into them.

Come back tomorrow to see how that’s done.


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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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18 Responses

  1. Alica says:

    We call our cows in a similar fashion! Such power feed has over them! 🙂

  2. Tina says:

    Wow! Who would have thought cattle would come when you call? The whooooo is almost like a high pitched whistle. At one point a few are running after him. I also forgot how big the cattle are until you see the size of them right next to Harland. Amazing stuff for us city folk. Keep them coming Suzanne and Harland!

  3. Tina says:

    P.S. I forgot to tell you how much I like the sunrise/sunset on your new header for Fall. Looks neat.

  4. Debbie says:

    Now I can imagine farmers around here calling their cows in for supper! LOL!
    Harland does a good job!
    By the way, is there a “lead” cow? Or is that a myth?

    • Suzanne says:

      I consulted Harland about the lead cow question. He said there is a definite pecking order in the herd with the older cows being in charge and the youngest ones at the bottom. He said one or more of the older or lead cows decide what the herd does thru the day, such as when to graze and when to go for a drink. At roundup time, lead cows are the first to come, and then the rest of the herd follows.

  5. Peggy says:

    Oh my goodness! Sorry but I can’t stop laughing! Your Harland is the bomb! I can’t get over it that he lets you video him. What a good sport. I don’t recall how my family called for the cattle to come but I do remember that corn was involved. Thanks for sharing this great video!
    I still get home sick when ever I watch your videos of home. I mean your home. Ha ha!

  6. Mandy says:

    Very interesting! Had to laugh while I was watching your video, the two kittys (I am babysitting for my friend) both got up to see what the high pitched WHHHHOOOOOOO was all about. Now their back to cat napping. =)

  7. Laura says:

    Harland is very good at whoopin and hollarin….curious…where did the one red cow come from?

    • Suzanne says:

      She’s a hereford. Harland used to raise herefods exclusively, but switched to Angus. She’s the last hereford left. 🙁

  8. Doe of Mi. says:

    I remember those days of calling the cows and the hogs. What fun – always loved it. So I sure enjoyed your video. Thanks.

  9. Glyndalyn says:

    A long time since I heard someone call the cows. Awesome.

  10. Harland is just not shy, is he?! That’s cool that he is just like..whatever..I’m just doin’ my job here. He seems so nice!! I just told my son that maybe I should video tape me calling my chickens..they come running when I call or whistle!

  11. Wow. Really?! I couldn’t believe it when I saw the cows start to move. Totally cool and totally awesome!

  12. marlene says:

    Love it! thank you for sharing, that’s how we called our cattle here in Kentucky and we only had a 50 mama herd but we could call from the barn once they learned food was the reward and they’d come doing the cow-trot with bouncy calves everywhere!!

  13. jan says:

    We always called “here bossy, bossy.” Well that was over 50 years ago! We had go get them at milking time though.

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