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Live-Stock Market - January 2006


James had some extra cash from re-directing a stock market investment. We have both been big on saving and investing. With the dismal returns since the bubble burst we have both been looking for someplace else to put our money, preferably in a good investment. It seems that just about anything would be better than the market.

James' brother Kenny has about a dozen cattle, the red and white ones. Some have little ones that he will take to the market for sale when the time comes. There are the borrowed bulls too that came to visit. We know the reason for their visit but it seems that they are more interested in the “greener grass” than their business. We enjoy calling them all together when we go down to the farm. Kenny feeds them a bag of sweet feed that the cattle go crazy over. He explains that calling them and feeding them the sweet mix will get them used to people, the corral, being handled and the payoff will be the ease of getting them on the trailer for movement. I guess it makes sense.

Pavlov had it right! Kenny will yell “come on” in a long loud voice c-o-m-e o-n. At first the cows look up, one moos and others take note, then all of a sudden they see the others looking and walking, then they move faster and then all run to get their treat. C-o-m-e O-n!

With his fenced acreage and mama’s land across the road there is enough room for more cattle. James read in the Georgia Market Bulletin that there were eight Black Angus available for a new home. There is a bull, four cows and three calves. One of the cows was due to download another calf in the next week or so and the adults are relatively young. The recommendation from James brother and cousin Ronnie, who both have cattle, said it looks like it could be a good investment to them. So cattle it is, time for a road trip to Hamilton, GA.

Ronnie’s Ford pickup has the hitch for a fifth-wheel cattle trailer and enough passenger room for Ronnie, Sandra, Kenny, James and me to not only go look at the cattle but make a purchase and bring the members of the new extended family home to their bovine field mates.

Hamilton, Georgia is located close to Columbus and our one and a half hour drive took us through the southern city limits of Atlanta then southwest to Hamilton. During the trip our conversation covered many topics including how the group was going to help James spend / invest his money, what the cows would look like, the best route to Hamilton and how the current owner talks to and calls his cows.

James and I recounted a story of how our Siberian Husky, Sobaka, was “talked to” by James’ boss Jo. Jo had been to doggie obedience school. The class was more about teaching discipline to the owners than to the dogs. Apparently the dog talker technique was to use both verbal commands along with visual arm movement. I guess this was for dogs that were hard of hearing. Well, Jo came over to the house, we greeted her at the kitchen door with hugs, and then, Jo made a loud exclamation and threw her arm at a right angle to her body when she saw Sobaka. The dog looked at James and me, then at Jo with a look that said “what is wrong with this woman?” We both asked Jo what this was all about, she said the technique was the universal command she had just learned to make a dog sit. We said we used our own command that Sobaka understood. We looked at Sobaka and said “sit”. He sat! We all laughed.

The closer we got to Hamilton, the Georgia pine forest was more common than open pastures. The directions led us off the Interstate and through the rolling hills past Callaway Gardens. After we drove through the small town of Hamilton we made the appropriate turns and found the driveway with Robert, the owners name, on the mailbox.

The driveway led us past a small rocky pasture area and then down to the house and out building where the Angus were kept. Robert and his family came out and greeted us. We all walked over to the fence and looked at the cows. The calves were so cute since they were only a couple of months old. The cows looked like they were in good health but could be fattened up a bit. And then there was the bull, much larger than the others. Robert’s wife came over and said that she calls him “Bully Boy” which seemed like an appropriate name. All the cattle had yellow ear tags with a large number on it. One of the cows was number “911” which Robert said was the one expecting.

James agreed to the purchase price, Ronnie backed the trailer up to the gate and Robert said that he would load them all himself. We all thought this alright and stood back behind the truck not to spook the cows. Robert got his long cow stick, walked into the pen and yelled out C-o-m-e O-n!

Chris & James