It was a big week for us. We really have two big paychecks per year and we received our second one a few days ago. We did this by selling our bred heifers. These are the heifers that we have either AI’d or the bulls have bred, but we decided to not keep as replacements. Each year we send them to Riverton to sell them through the sale barn. I thought this would be a good time to show those of you that have never been to a sale barn a few things about them.
Above, you can see the inside of Riverton Livestock’s sale ring from our perspective. On the right, you can see the auctioneer (in the middle) and two other gentlemen who operate the scale, screen, and are trying to help sell the cattle. The two men in the ring are there to make sure the cattle flow smoothly into and out of the ring. Behind the doors are a whole system of pens and sale barn hands making sure everything “behind the scenes” runs and the proper cattle are brought into and sorted for the buyers out of the ring. In the stands you can see some of the buyers and sellers who came to bid/watch in person.
If you can read all of my labels that I attached you will see a few features that you may not have thought of. On the left, you can see there is a webcam from which the sale is broadcast. That’s right, you can watch the auction from the comfort of your couch and even buy the cattle online. Moving right you will notice that I labelled the ring with “Scale”. All of the interior of the ring is on a scale telling you how much the cattle weigh immediately. Next you will notice that the two ringmen are standing behind protectors. Every once in a while an animal comes in the ring that is mad and this gives the men a place to go. They are close enough to the edge of the pen to keep cows from chasing the men through there. Then there are the separate inlet and outlet doors that can be easily opened. Above the auctioneer you will see the scale display which shows the number of cattle in the ring, the total weight, the average weight per animal, and the price. On the left in blue is the animals that are currently in the ring and on the right in red is the animals that just left the ring.
I hope this shined just a little bit of light on the workings of a sale barn. We appreciate all the effort that the folks at Riverton Livestock Auction put into selling our heifers. They do a good job over there and really help us out.
by Brandon Greet