Last week we sold a large number of our cattle. The herd had steadily grown and it was simply time to balance our stocking rate to what the land can currently support.
We had a livestock agent manage the sale and another local farmhand also come help to round them up and load them onto the truck. It was hot, dry and dusty work, but we had them all loaded by the end of the day.
Through all the bawling, gate open-closing and sometimes cursing, I found myself noticing everyones different herd calls. Our stock agent bellowed a Leyton Hewitt style, ‘C’Mon!’ and whacked his herding stick on the ground. The farmhand was my favourite; quite a daring man who hung from the cattle yards and cried out in a half swiss yodel and half deranged rodeo-clown fashion, ‘Yeeewhohalala!’
Me, I’m a Hep-Guy. This basically involves me clapping my hands behind the herd calling, ‘Hep-hep-hep-hep.’
When I was a kid, I remember an old timer at our local livestock market that would herd cattle by waving his hands in the air and blow raspberries. ‘Pfffffffpft!’ Very entertaining for a ten year old to watch, but it was also strangely effective, saliva and all.
So the next time you, ‘C’Mon-Yeeewhohalala-Hep-hep-hep-hep-Pfffffffpft!’ your way through moving livestock or even with your pets, take a note on what your technique is.
What’s your herd call?