When calving heifers (female cattle that haven’t had a calf yet), you inevitably have to help one now and then. This year we are pulling a few more calves than usual, which is a bull-related issue. The bull’s genetics in large part determine calf size and the bigger the calf, the harder to calve. We aren’t the sort to wait around several hours for a heifer to have a calf, which some people do. If she isn’t progressing in a timely fashion, we like to get her in and get the calf pulled before the heifer is worn out from trying to have her baby, and the calf is exhausted from being squeezed. It’s a system that works well for us.
April 4, 2012
March 7, 2012
There are different ways to fertilize the ground you grow your crops on. Our crop is hay. We grow it in the summer so we have something to feed the cattle in the winter. When the cows come home from their summer pasture in the fall they are left to roam and graze in the already harvested meadows, but when the snow comes it gets to be pretty tough picking. So we feed them the hay we cut during the previous summer.
In order to make the most of the feeding we feed the cattle their hay on new ground every day. As you know, what goes in must come out and what comes out is good fertilizer. By feeding the cattle their hay back onto the ground where we harvested it, we provide reseeding and nutrients for the next year. The cattle are happier too when their feed is placed in a new spot every day because just like you and I, cattle like to eat from a clean plate.
From RealRancher Kent Price – Daniel, Wyo.
October 26, 2011
April 18, 2011
It’s a Crappy Job, But Someone’s Gotta Do It!
Cleaning the corrals and dragging the meadows are spring cleaning chores for ranchers. Scattering manure for fertilizer can also be part of spring cleaning. As soon as the frost is out of the top of the ground a rancher’s spring cleaning starts. This is usually the first part of April in the Green River Valley.
A drag which can be many things that will break up the manure and scatter it over the field, but usually a metal rod rug, harrow, is hooked to a tractor and pulled over all the meadows to break up all the cow pies (cow manure.) The drag scatters the manure so it will work as fertilizer on the coming hay crop. When the cow pies are broken up and scattered across the field this makes the meadow so the mower will not get clogged from the piles of manure when the hay is mowed in the summer. If bale twine has been dropped, it is picked up.
The corrals also need spring cleaning. Once the frost is out of the ground the manure is scraped and pushed into big piles in the corrals. Shovels or forks are used to clean around the fences and hay feeders where the tractor with a bucket cannot reach. The big piles are either loaded into manure spreaders or hauled to a big pile where the manure mulches.
The manure spreader is pulled onto the meadows and the manure is scattered for fertilizer in the spring. If the manure is hauled to the large pile it is scattered in the fall with the manure spreader so the ground is fertilized for the next hay crop. The manure is also used to create dikes for irrigating.
Spring cleaning on the ranch is not the best job, but it is a job that has to be done. If the corrals are cleaned then the animals don’t have to stand in the muck when it is wet outside.
From RealRancher Jonita Sommers – Pinedale, Wyo.
August 11, 2010
My wife, Lovella Dawn has sometimes found it difficult coping with the wide-open spaces and the lack of people in Wyoming. She is originally from the Philippines near the capitol, Manila. Manila and surrounding greater suburbs has a population of approximately 20 million people — about 40 times the entire state of Wyoming.
After getting married while living in Wisconsin we moved back to the ranch I grew up on, which my great-grandfather originally homesteaded. Although she had visited before, nothing can quite prepare a person to live on a ranch in Wyoming if they’ve never done it before, but her love of animals helped her through those first hard times. Now she gets involved in working cows in the corrals, she pulls calves in the spring, she takes care of her chickens, and the entire cat herd follows her everywhere she goes.
Just the other day my wife came back from town (Pinedale, Wyo.) complaining about the traffic and the number of people at the grocery store. Pinedale only has a population of 1,400…I think she’s converted!
This goat was having trouble giving birth to her kids (baby goats) so she needed some help. My wife’s hands are quite small and would cause less pain for the goat when helping her give birth. Lovella Dawn pulled the first kid out, a little billy (male) goat with dewlaps (A dewlap is a fold of skin that hangs down under the throat. Goats often have two dewlaps.) and then the mother goat had the second kid on her own, a little nanny (female).
I think this Filipino is a true Wyomingite.
From RealRancher Kent Price – Daniel,WY