2,100 Miles Later
In the fall of 2010 Pam & Daryl Nunes started a new chapter in the Ocean View history by moving three semi loads of cattle the 2,100 miles from the Sonoma County wine country to the heart of America’s Dairyland. All cattle were moved in super condition by Troy’s transport – special thanks to Troy Wendorf. This was Troy’s second experience moving things for Pam Nunes. Shortly after Pam moved to California, Troy, along with Melvin Moon, transported Pam’s 6-time World Champion Paint horse to California in the belly of one of the pots they had coming to California. Two willing guys and one patient horse!
The move to Wisconsin started shortly after Expo with a load of heifers and dry cows sent to Wisconsin on a haul back from taking Expo cattle to Wisconsin for other California exhibitors. Shortly after, two loads of cows were loaded up and left for Utah at about 4pm. Arriving the next morning about 9 am at Ropelato’s Dairy, the cows were unloaded and given a few hours to rest before we took on the challenge of their parallel parlor. Thankfully each cow was broke to lead, but they were all used to grain and a head-to-tail parlor. While the cows were certainly happy to see the parlor, confusion set in, but soon things were all in order and the cows were once again happy to be milked. We were just happy it was done and committed to NO stopping until Wisconsin!
Once the cows were milked it was on to feeding 14 calves that were on milk. “Daryl do you have a pen and paper because we’re gonna need to keep track,” said Pam. Boy was that an understatement. Tip for anyone doing this in the future…a head-to-toe wet suit would come in handy.
After freshening up the bedding and a lot of pushing, pulling and cursing. All the cows and baby calves were once again loaded and ready to head out just before sunset for the final leg to Wisconsin. It was a little over 24 hours later that the two semis turned into the long driveway in Deerfield. Time to unload and milk again – now instead of a parallel parlor we had a tie stall barn for today’s challenge. Thankfully the sight of grain won over and we had very little trouble getting any of the cows into the tie stalls for the first time. Not enough can be said about breaking heifers to lead – being able to lead all these cows and having them tame enough to grab chains and pull has been a huge plus in this transition.
Thankfully it was a mild fall and we were able to leave the cows out on pasture for almost a month before keeping them in the barn for any length of time. We only ended up with one cow not learning to use the tie stalls. The cows took to the new accommodations easily – now the humans bring everything to them and there is such variety instead of the same old TMR. Most of our cows were stale when we made the trip so we did feel like we milked a herd of dry cows for quite a while. But we’re happy to report that another calving and they’re right back in the game again.
One year later… we moved an old Outside that we debated if she’d even be able to make the trip…well she had our first heifer calf and is now over 288,000 and pregnant with another heifer calf. If we’d have known how well the older cows made the trip we would not have sold some of them that we did before we left! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks…in fact they’re all about business and just know it. We’d have to say the cows made it through the first year in better shape than us, but we’d have it no other way. In fact we scored the whole herd on our one-year anniversary and our BAA is now 112.4 with a herd average finally back to over 24,000m. Oh and the 14 baby calves are all weaned and doing well.