Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Kansas Cattle Drive

My city friends ask me all the time, "What do you do in Kansas?" One of the things we do is play with animals a lot bigger than your dog. Over the weekend, I helped Kendall (one of my church members) move 83 cattle from one winter home to another. Come along for the cattle drive.

The cattle had been grazing in this field of wheat stubble for about a month. Having basically eaten the place dry, it was time to take them elsewhere.

Eight people on horseback joined us to round up. Horses are great for keeping the cattle together. In addition, we had 8 kids on foot, Kendall on a four-wheeler, and his wife driving a truck. To move this many cattle, it takes a lot of help.

Once we got the cattle rounded up and moving (not an easy task), we took them east down Avenue J and then turned south (above) into an empty wheat field.

After going about a mile south, we turned the cattle east toward the road where I'm taking this picture.

Here we are coming south on 28th Rd.

Now we're crossing Highway 56. We had to wave down and stop a few cars. They were amused to see so many cattle crossing the road.

Safely across the highway, we continued south on 28th Rd.

Further down this road is where the cows new home awaits.

You can see one cow in the back deciding to go another way. That happens a lot, which is why you need several people to help steer the cattle in the right direction. It's much harder than you might think. Cows will be submissive, but they definitely have a mind of their own. One cow would never start the journey. Another had to be routed into a temporary pen after refusing to cross a bridge.

Here are my daughters enjoying a horse ride near the end of the drive.

The cattle are in their new home. Kendall gives a high five to one of the horse riders. The six mile trek took almost three hours to complete.

Kendall puts up the electric fencing wire to enclose the cattle. When hooked up to a car battery, the fence has enough "juice" to encourage the cows to stay inside the field.

That's the trip. Glad you came along.

If you've like to see even more pictures, they're here.

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