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04-01-2017 12:44 AM - edited 04-01-2017 12:51 AM
Since today is April Fools’ Day I decided that it would be appropriate to post a true story from early-March when Dad and I got fooled.
Dad and I decided to sit in on the tail end of a sale for a couple hours. We were there to just get an idea of the current market and maybe pick up a few deals. Since we were not there on a serious buying mission, we decided to sit high enough up that we avoided getting manure and dirt kicked on us.
Any deals that we purchased had to be 500# to 600# steers and relatively good quality. We soon discovered that the type of cattle we were looking for was only available in a very limited quality and significantly above our budgeted price. The sale did have a plethora of 800# to 900# heifers available for a relatively good price. Fortunately, as we were purchasing feeders to put into a pasture adjacent to the pasture that we currently have our breeding bulls in, we refrained from purchasing any heifers.
Then, after watching the sale for about 30 minutes; a small group of perfect black 500+# feeders walked into the ring. This group had tassels on their tummies, so we knew that they were not heifers. Dad and I both believed that we heard the auctioneer say steers, liked the price they were selling for and purchased them. Thrilled with our wonderful purchase we continued to watch the sale and purchase an occasional individual steer.
After about 2 hours at the sale, Dad and I decided we were ready to leave. The invoice looked accurate, and everything was clearly designated as a steer on the paper invoice. We paid for the cattle and then waited for our turn to load out.
There were 2 cattle pots and 2 goosenecks in line ahead of us. In addition to discussing what wonderful deals we had just purchased, the 2 goosenecks provided some entertainment. Appearance wise the first gooseneck appeared to be a very good operator. Very nice trailer in excellent condition. Fairly new pickup. After backing in the guy got out with his big cowboy hat on. The first group of calves to load appeared to be slightly more than half a gooseneck full, but with a little effort the divider was latched. Then they started loading the remaining calves. Unfortunately, there were more calves in the next group. However, after trying to get all of the calves on and even getting the ones in the last quarter of the trailer to double stack, there were still a few left to load. Next, they decided to open the divider. After opening the divider, and packing all of the calves in the trailer as tight as sardines, and getting the last several to double stack, plus using significant effort to get the back doors latched the calves were finally in the trailer. Then, after he chatted with his friends for a few minutes, (Meanwhile, I was discussing with Dad how many of the calves were going to be suffocated by the time they reached their destination.) he pulled out. Then the second gooseneck pulled in. Very junky homemade or heavily home-modified trailer. Old junk pickup. After backing in the guy got out wearing old jeans and a ratty t-shirt. An appropriate number of cattle arrived in the load out pen, quickly and easily loaded, and the guy pulled out. By this time the 2 cattle pots had pulled out and it was Dad’s turn to back in and load.
After backing in, our group arrived in the load out pen. I soon noticed that a tassel was not the only thing on the bottom side of several in our group. After loading out, our conversation shifted from “What a great deal.” to “How much are we going to have in these once we calculate in vet and stress shrink.”
Our feeder bulls got an appointment at the vet early the next week and had a very bad day. While hauling the steers to wheat pasture Dad and I were able to have a good laugh about our purchase. Dad said that the next time we buy cattle we are going to sit low enough that we eat dirt.
Edit: Typing Errors.
Edit: Additional Typing Errors.