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.