Young Cattle on the Farm

Our milk cows “freshened” in the late winter and early spring. The calves were weaned in a few weeks and put out to pasture down in Kettle Hollow. Kettle Creek ran through the 238-acre farm that Dad bought out on Oak Grove Ridge. It was one of the reasons he selected our farm over several others. A farmer “could run cattle” during the summer months. Kettle Hollow and its surrounding hillsides offered plenty of grass and fresh water. All a farmer had to do was mend fences, put out a salt block, and count the cattle every few days.

Dad went to cattle auctions and bought calves at a low price: Black Angus, Holstein, Hereford, Guernsey, or just plain old mixed breed. He would often take my two brothers and me with him. I remember going to the livestock auction barn near Sparta a few times. He would buy some calves and stop at Rising Sun tavern to have a beer or two at Bernie’s before continuing home.

Every spring, about mid-May, we had the big “cattle drive.” Everyone was needed. Some 30 head were put in the cow yard. The big gate would open, and the curious young livestock started out of the cow yard. They were an odd-looking bunch. They followed the wide path past the two barns, the granary, the garage, across the highway, and into a lane that led to Kettle Creek.   Continued…..


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