Posts tagged ‘cattle’

Springing Heavy , Making, and Bumping Hard

Aww, spring when a young man’s fancy turns to love….and a cattlemen’s turns to judging teats and the back ends of cows!

Springing heavy – picture a very pregnant lady and you get the idea, heavy with life and anticipation.

Bumping Hard – cows vulvas loosen and swell to allow for easier birth and “bump” against the tail. When you see this you know it’s within the month, if not sooner.

Making a bag – udder is filling with milk. stage 1 – just the teats, stage 2 – teats and small amount in udder, stage 3 – teats and udder full, stage 4- teats and udder tight and full – real sooon!

We don’t have the facilities to bring every body up close to our house in a yard. They are out on the range and on their own. We have only had the joy of seeing calves born about 3 times and only once out in the pasture. Of course, if we come across a cow having trouble we’d help, but even checking our cows every other day to daily when they’re all calving, we just don’t see them all.

This little brockle faced heifer is our first of this year. cows



This is the way we ship our cows, ship our cows…

(Title sung to tune of Here we go round the mulberry bush.)

This weekend we spent two days of 10 hours a day working our cattle. We shipped our calves to market. Translation: 500 miles, 6 round trips to Willcox, 4 lunches from drive thrus, and hours for the guys in the saddle and me in the Polaris crew calling and trailing our cows. They are trained to come when we call them so it’s easier than it sounds though not so “western” as the movies. The neighbor generously let us use his corrals as we are gathering and shipping from our forest service lease. Unfortunately, one group of calves got in a tussle Saturday night and let themselves out into his fenced yard (old corrals – the post was rotted). Extra hour spent fixing it. So much for making it to church! The calves did well at the sale. Next….new babies any time.

We are privileged to grow food for your table and ours. Daniel took the photo of the burger, he knows where his food comes from lol!



Went grocery shopping Monday night and called dear hubby to tell him how close I was to home. He replied we just got back to the house (9pm) as #53 was down in the mudhole on Pearce Road. One of our neighbors called her sister who called us. The sheriff showed up (not sure why though someone may have called him). Drug her out of the mud with a rope (see sometimes we’re mean post). She didn’t get up but appeared happy and chewing her cud. Went out the next day, nope not up. Called another neighbor who has a hip-sling. This contraption fits over the cows hip bones and then you lift with a chain and tractor or backhoe. Got her standing and steady. She got a drink and proceeded to go down again moving. Called the neighbor back who had just left. Cranked her back up. Led her off to level ground where she stumbled and went down again tripping over her own hooves. Called said neighbor and borrowed hip sling. Cranked her up and left her a pile of cubes to munch on. No sign of her this morning (it’s a 1500 acre pasture) so so far so good. My back was a little sore and I was ready for bed after lifting her head up to get her front legs under her!

Peaceful Pastures

Today has been one of those days….nothing going according to plan, everything taking longer than expected. As I drive out to check on the cows water and see if they’ve drifted into the next pasture like good students, I rehearse in my head my to do list….finish sanding the bedroom floor, review math with boys, emails that need sending, call the butcher, calls that need made, check the goat who is ready to kid any day and on and on. But….as I drive, I am slowly overtaken by God’s creation.
*the splash of white yucca blossoms against pale green sun cured grass
*golden sunshine bathing one foothill while the rest lounge in late afternoon shadows
* cattle lowing to their calves and calming chewing their cud
* the swoop of a hawk as he finds a new perch
*buzzing insects in the brush
* quiet sitting on the porch
* cool concrete on bare feet
* a tiny yellow bird flitting from branch to branch
*billowing clouds stark white against a impossibly blue sky

and I am reminded of the psalmist declaration “Be still and know that I am God”, I hear his gentle whisper in my heart – I know you, I love you, I am – quite fretting, work that needs doing will get done and the rest will wait or fall away, and one word comes stealing over me, calming my fretful heart, echoing in the breeze and the sunshine – Peace

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

what i did on my summer vacation…

1. went to the Grand Canyon – took the train, boys had never been

2.vaccinating, tagging, and branding cattle – this is our busy season and so most every weekend we’re at the corrals,(think of it as farmers planting or harvesting just without the big tractors :))

3. Arizona Cattle Growers Convention – state annual meeting, made a week of it after visiting the canyon for two days – the kids enjoyed the pool and cable tv

4. moving errant cows into the pasture we want them in, even if they want to be somewhere else

5. Enjoying Emily home again and the wonderful work God did and continues to do in Peru – 2001+ souls added to the kingdom

6. Boy scouts – wrap up for this year and Daniel finishing a rank and some merit badges

7. Summer ag institute tours with University of Arizona and Arizona Farm Bureau
8. Women in Ag conference in Phoenix – you amaze me ladies

and life goes on….with much praise for a happy healthy family, God’s wonderful creation, the ranch, and rain rain rain!

Open Range, No Fence, and Fence Out


My milk goats ate my geraniums! I was frustrated and disappointed. I had just spent $12 for the pot and decidedly do not have a green thumb. They were enjoying what looked like a nice snack. What does that have to do with Open Range? Plenty!

During territorial times, cattle and other livestock roamed freely on Open Range. About the time Arizona obtained statehood, ranches were fenced as separate units and the Open Range was no more.  The correct term for controlling livestock movement in Arizona is Fence Out.

Fence Out  – I fence the goats out of areas I don’t want them around. You, as a property owner, are responsible for your little corner of the world. Concerned about protecting your blossoms from wildlife or livestock? You (not your neighbors or local government) are responsible to lawfully Fence Out. The fence must be built in a manner that will effectively turn livestock, with barbed wire or other suitable materials and regularly maintained.

State law, Arizona Revised Statute 3-1422, specifies “An owner or occupant of land is not entitled to recover for damage resulting from the trespass of animals unless the land is enclosed within a lawful fence, but this section shall not apply to owners or occupants of land in no-fence districts.”

No Fence – I fence my goats into a pen and as any goat owner knows, it had better be agood one! The Stewart District, north of Willcox, is the only no-fence district in the state. This district facilitates farming of irrigated land. Much of the eastern US is no fence, or fence in.

The Arizona Revised Statutes 3-1421 through 3-1429 clearly define a lawful fence, compensationavailable for damage to property that is lawfully fenced, and the formation of “no-fence” districts.

During the 1960s and 70s much of the private property in close proximity to towns like Pearce and Willcox was subdivided. Many of those 1-acre or smaller parcels are now on the back tax rolls. Designated roads are unmaintained and eroding into gullies. Ranchers in these areas provide water for wildlife, slow erosion through proper grazing use, and deter traffic by illegals, all at no cost to the numerous absentee landowners.

Hope that clears up some of the confusion on this issue. Simple solution – your property, you fence it.


Cowlendar Girls – April

Here’s a new feature: Cow of the Month

We hope you enjoy our cowlendar girls!  We don’t name all of them as coming up with 100+ names is a little much.

This is #33 “Mame”, so named because when we first bought her she would nurse any calf.  We named after “Auntie Mame” of movie fame. She is 4 and in her prime. She likes to be scratched along her sides.Image