Old Farmer Tip #1: Sorting Livestock
Contributing to the axiom, “Nothing is given so freely as advice,” I’m starting a new series of tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.
You don’t need to corral livestock to sort them. If you have livestock which come to you and are used to going through a gate into the next pasture, which is true for most of us rotational grazers, you can sort at any gate by simply moving a few steps back and forth.
Sorting animals who are facing you, wanting to go by you, is a breeze. The challenge is to have patience and work slowly enough so you don’t make mistakes.
My buddy, who also farms and markets at DCFM, came over to help me. I told him what I was doing, and to watch my right side, as I would primarily be sorting to my left, and its impossible to watch everywhere when the animals are moving aggressively.
Our herd has about 90 cows and 90 calves. We sorted 80 cows through the gate into the next pasture in maybe ten to fifteen minutes. Because we hadn’t been pressuring the rest of the herd, they felt comfortable staying near the gate. So we simply moved around them and drove the entire herd down the lane into the corral where we finished sorting.
A video would show this a lot better, but I was too busy to film. I may make one in the future though, as I’ve started using tiktok, which makes it very easy to make short videos. Search Curiousfarmer if you would like to see some of the videos I’ve been making. Or check out this link of moving the herd a few weeks ago.