Today was a very big day for me. My brother Bob let me tag along with him to the sale barn. I know that it’s probably something not everyone wants to do but it’s on my ‘bucket list’. I absolutely LOVED today and had a fantastic time. I’ll try to write what ‘going to the sale’ means to me and what I’ve learned.
The morning started with me trying to figure out what to wear. Since I’ve never been to one of these sales before, I wasn’t sure what was the proper attire. I’ve been places where farmers are and it seems like there are certain clothes that should be worn for certain things. So after a couple of outfits that I put on, I decided on older jeans, long sleeved t shirt with a short sleeved shirt over it, and then a casual jacket over it. I wanted to look like I fit in and knew what I was doing. I SURE wasn’t going to ask anyone.. especially my brothers what I should wear.
So after that drama, I went to my brothers farm and around 10:15 this morning and we were off taking their truck with a cattle trailer behind it and heading north.
When we got to the sale barn, there was a smell of a grill going and then we knew that they were grilling hamburgers for an appreciation lunch for the people that were there. They also had the Moo Mobile serving malts and at that point I think I was getting a better understanding why people like to go to the sale barn when they get a chance.
Next we checked out the cattle. This is a really cool. You walk on these cat walks above the cattle and when my brother would see someone that he knew, he’d stop and talk about the cattle that they were looking at. He was showing me ones that were bad lots. I wasn’t sure why they were the bad ones and he said to look how they are breathing and how their stomachs looked. Well I was checking out who looked the prettiest and the cutest and I knew at this point that I was way out of my league.
The next step was to find a seat. I was kind of surprised that the actual sale part of the barn was really quite small. I expected it to be a lot bigger but then there was other places to sit that I found out later. Then other guys started to fill in the spots around us and now they spend some time giving each other some trash talk. Everyone is smiling and making jokes, drinking malts and having a good time.
When the auction starts – the atmosphere changes. Everyone is checking out the cattle and is pretty serious. Today there was 1720 cattle at the auction. Now I know that these guys can go to auctions a couple of times a week but man do they know a lot about a cow when they just look at them for about 10 seconds. Some of the things that they saw was a swollen stomach, a low stomach, a sunken stomach, nose dripping, bad bump on the leg, shiny coat, funny walk, bad walk, head too low, head too high, and that the cow was given corn or hay feed. Are you wondering about the last one? You check out the manure after they go to find this one out. Now how I understand why this makes a difference is that if you feed mostly hay you don’t want to buy one that was fed mostly corn. This is because the cow would have to change their digestive process. So up to this point I was really thinking that this was some kind of club that guys went to go eat well and shoot the breeze. I was wrong.
Bidding was interesting to watch. Everyone seemed to do this just a little differently, but mostly you sit real still and just move a little bit. This could be one of your fingers or a nod of your head. A couple of times I panicked. I always talk with my hands and from what I learned today I move my head a lot! I never got called on anything but I soon physically sat on my hands and then I pretended that I had a neck brace on so I wouldn’t move my head. It worked, but I think I looked like I either had to go to the bathroom really bad or that I was in a bad car accident. My brother never said anything, but I think he was probably wondering what I was doing.
So the auction is going pretty good now and my brother was buying Holstein cattle. There isn’t anything wrong with these cattle but they all looked alike. Then a Belted Galloway came out. Now I really like these cattle in the miniature form, but the big ones are still kinda nice. My brother looked at me and he started to bid. I was wayyyyyy too chicken to bid, well at least this time. So after a couple of bids he got it! It’s a steer so it’ll work on our farm.
After a couple of hours at the sale barn I realized that I really liked it. I was wondering what Daryl was going to say when I told him that I have bought a cow, but when I talked to him he didn’t freak out or nothing. Hummm, now I wish I would have also bought that one heifer with a small calf on her side. Maybe next time?
So my brothers are keeping him until we can get over there to pick him up. I’m hoping to get him to our farm soon. Daryl and William don’t like his new name. I’m going to name him Rion (pronounced like Ryan). The reason is because when I say Oh Rion it’ll fit well with his belt. Get it? Orions Belt is a famous star cluster. William said that I really need to work on finding a job in town … quick.