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Ann Britton Outback Photography

Clearview Heifers: Mustering, Drafting and Trucking

We were been blessed with patchy storm rain at the beginning of the year.
So we have been able to fatten cattle.
But not knowing if we will get a wet season this year,  since some are fat, and a bonus for us, prices are high, our management plan to cull coloured heifers were  reasons to muster Clearview Sunday.
BRA_8558 Heifers lunch break Clearview muster
It has become a tradition to buy works burgers for lunch, from the Boulia Roadhouse, when we muster Clearview. This tradition has been going on since we had sheep, over ten years ago, a bit of a treat. This photo shows the heifers and bulls “on dinner camp.” Yes a stoney ridge, there was no need to hold the cattle together, yes some did wander off feeding and were easy to gather together once the crew had their lunch.
The crew put the cattle in a break at Dare’s bore, which was once used for sheep, Sunday night.
BRA_8564 heifers bulls moving out Dares enclosure
Monday morning, which was bitterly cold due to the wind chill factor, I travelled with #BossMan, Tojo and Kimberly to drop them off at their bikes at Dare’s. So they could let the heifers and bulls out of the break, to walk them home.
BRA_8567 bright lights of Boulia
On my way home from dropping crew off I took the opportunity to capture some moments. The lights of Boulia in the pre dawn light being one.
BRA_8578 Eagle
Eagles are one of my favourite birds.
BRA_8593 Eagle
This one was feeding on road kill.

BRA_8599 pink sky & cloud
The cloud across the sky in an east west direction, before the sun came up, was a lovely shade of pink.
BRA_8602 sunrise
The sun came up as I was just west of Boulia.
BRA_8603 sunrise through tree Bedourie turnoff
I took this photo on the other side of Boulia, I have a Facebook follower who lives and works in the beautiful Barossa and he is always asking me “where are the trees Ann?”
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After the crew got home with the cattle, they had a feed to warm up and Tojo and Kimberly went to Lucknow to get the cattle they had processed last week back in the yard so as to truck today as well.
#BossMan and myself drafted the cattle they had walked from Clearview.
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I stand on a platform and open gates in the round yard, via drafting sticks, to put the cattle into their designated pens.
I have three drafting sticks at Goodwood and a pen beside me that is manually opened by #BossMan which is usually used for “strangers” that aren’t really strangers, just neighbours cattle, but called strangers as they aren’t owned by us.
So we drafted “reds and bulls” to the left (you can’t see drafting stick) “sell” left stick in photo and “rejects” (too small, steers) right stick.
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#BossMan received a few phone calls while we drafted, some for council and some to do with our business. So while we penned up or as we were drafting he was on the phone. (there was a bit of  a problem with money allocation to drought declared areas, so while keeping his business moving #BossMan was also making sure his community wasn’t forgotten either, which is his job also)
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Another view I had while in the yard, penning up the cattle for drafting.
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The drafted sale heifers in their pens.
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Our red heifers and bulls we are keeping.
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The rejects. Rest assured they are only called rejects for the purpose of this draft, they are younger then the heifers that are being sold and they will be on the same feed as the “reds and bulls” when they are walked back to Clearview.

This morning, I sent #BossMan, Tojo and Kimberly off to Lucknow with toasted bacon and egg sandwiches for their breakfast after trucking meal, including one for the truck driver. #BossMan went in the truck and trailer as he had to pick up our cattle “strangers” from two neighbours to Lucknow after he helped truck heifers from Lucknow.IMG_5701 1st pen heifersBefore 7.30 our Boulia Curley’s truck and driver were at the ramp ready to load. As the early morning sunlight hit the side of the back trailer, the first pen (top pen) of 18 heifers were loaded. The truck driver and I checked for “comfort” or enough room, we were both happy but double checked when next pen of 18 heifers were loaded. They had settled well.
IMG_5702 heifers loaded
We were loading each pen in about a minute and a half. So within the hour the 12 pens, 6 decks, 3 trailers were loaded. In between loading pens on the truck, there are gates to shut, in between trailer walk ways to close, the ramp to go up once top deck is loaded and of course the truck driver being in position ready for next pen. In the yards we have to move cattle around filling up the forcing yard, or pen before the round yard and race up to the truck.
These heifers were trucked as weaners, had been worked through yards as weaners, these experiences for them makes it safer and easier for them when they are yarded and or trucked again. They are easy to work with and they travel well. Time put into them when they were younger (& their mothers when they were weaners) as well as walking them to and from their paddocks all makes for very good animal welfare and human safety.
BRA_8612 heifers on Curleys
The heifers were left to settle on the truck, while the truck driver had a feed, coffee and we did the paper work that has to go with the heifers to the sale-yards. Then the heifers were on their way to the Blackall sale-yards, ready for “saleO, saleO” on Thursday. #BossMan and I planned to be there to see them sold but we have a buyer for our old cows so will be mustering and trucking them at the end of this week.

The heifers from Lucknow were a little older and not as fat. So anyone looking for some good quality heifers, Blackall Sale is the place to be this week 😉

If anyone is wanting to know more about mustering, drafting or trucking I am more than willing to answer any questions.

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