Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thinning the herd

We decided just yesterday that it would be necessary to sell a cow or two.  Our hay was disappearing rapidly.  The only animal we had that would bring good money at a sale barn was Babe, the Hereford.  Babe is also the cow that ate the most.  I halfway wanted to keep her calf, but I asked Cliff what he'd do, and he said he'd sell her too.  Here's the thing:  Little Annie isn't eating a tremendous amount of hay yet, but next winter she will be.  Of course Gracie is coming along too.  Babies grow.  We only have so much pasture.  None of my dairy cows or heifers would bring much at auction; Craigslist is full of dairy cows that don't seem to be selling too well.  
At first we planned to do our usual drill when moving cattle:  Drive thirty miles, borrow Cliff's brother's pickup and livestock trailer, come back home, load Babe and Annie, haul them thirty-five miles to Kingsville, and return the pickup and trailer.  The auction folks would no doubt split them and sell them separately to bring the most money, then take out their share of the money.  
Cliff's brother was here yesterday and asked, "Why don't you put them on Craigslist?"  
"Because we don't have any idea what cattle are worth right now," I said.  
But this morning when we were on our walk, we decided to go ahead and try Craigslist.  I mentioned in the ad that if they weren't gone by Monday we were taking them to the sale.  I went out and took some nice pictures of the pair, to go with the ad.

A half-hour later a guy from Sedalia called and said he'd take them.  Normally I won't pull an ad until the person has actually shown up with money in hand, but this guy was going to come and get them right then, so I removed the ad.  We got one other call after the ad was taken down.  I'm guessing perhaps our price was low, but we saved ourselves all that time on the road borrowing a pickup and hauling cows.  We got half-again what we paid for Babe.  And honestly, although I know it's silly, I feel good that Babe gets to finish raising Annie.  The man who bought them is building a herd and likes Herefords.    

Goodbye, Babe and Annie.  It's been fun.


Margaret said...

Craiglist works well! (and quickly) I'm hoping that it does for our tool sale this weekend too. I'm not a cow expert, but they look pretty!

Anita said...

You gotta do what'cha gotta do.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

As your herd is about to increase again, that was probably a good decision. At any rate things moved too fast for you to change your mind.