Posts tagged ‘cows’

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!

Smoke Signals

This past week we organized a yard sale for my daughter as a fundraiser for a summer ministry trip. After a successful sale, we visited the local convenience store. One of our neighboring ranchers leaned in the truck window and said, hey, that smoke’s on us. What smoke? Oh great!

Well after regrouping and dropping leftover stuff in a hurry at the house, we headed up to the hills, forest service land. Yep, smoke rising and some fire crews all ready on scene. Now, I wouldn’t have been too concerned but we still had some cow-calf “pairs” up there. Well, we called and they were standing on the road watching all the commotion. Got them in a neighbors corrals. Headed home, hubby got home from work, hitched up the trailer, and away we went again. Wouldn’t you know it, they refused to load! Too much noise and helicopters flying overhead. Turned them back out since the fire was heading away from and uphill from our location. If we’d needed to we would have trailed them down the road on foot, but we didn’t. Caught them up and they loaded fine two days later.

Actually, I wouldn’t have minded at all if the hills would have burned – no houses in danger, little wind (unlike the day before), and we’ve already been discussing having a prescribed burn with the forest service. But…since we haven’t completed the NEPA (National Environmental Protection Act) consultations and have a written burn plan, out it went. 10 acres total so really minor.

Ironically, the NEPA is working against what the land really needs. Burning occurred naturally much more frequently than it does now, about every 5 to 10 years. It reduces weeds, invasive brush, and keeps the ecosystem healthy with an influx of nitrogen into the soil. When we don’t burn, catastrophes happen as the fuel load gets huge. Yellowstone in the 1990s or our own Rodeo-Chedeski fire would be examples.

My first reaction was to go into emergency mode due to our cattle’s safety and our neighbors homes. Most folks do when they see flames or smell smoke. However, next time you see smoke, after you make sure no ones in danger and take a big breath, consider how fire can be a tool to improve our landscape. What is that smoke signal really telling you?

Mired in the Mud

In response to recent articles from Rolling Stone and MFA, I confess sometimes we are mean to our cows. We have dirt tanks or cattle ponds that go dry in between rains. As they dry up, they get mucky and if the cows get out to far, they can get stuck. Stuck in cold, sticky mud up to their bellies usually means only their head is sticking out. So, around the neck a rope goes with the other end attached to a truck, utv, backhoe bucket, or saddle horn. No, one person alone cannot lift a 800 to 1000 pound animal out by themselves. Then as slowly as possible the cow is literally drug by the neck out of the mud and far enough away that when she gets up she won’t fall back in. She will be gasping and choking and skinned up, but alive instead of dying a slow gruesome death to thirst and hypothermia a few feet from water. If she’s been in there along time before we find her, she may get hoisted with the backhoe and cargo straps onto a trailer and taken to the house. Then we start cow physical therapy hoisting her up and down till she can stand and eat. Unfortunately, by this point, a cow that’s down too often stays down and dies. This year alone we lost 4 calves to the mud pit and one cow. We check our cattle a minimum of once a week and often every day. We fence the waters and close the gates if we know they’re getting mucky. Still, it happens and we do our best, but if you’re unfamiliar and were filming, our best efforts would appear cruel. Please, find out the facts.

Why I’m Glad I Don’t Have Wi-Fi at Home

Strange Title for a blog post, I’ll admit. Especially when I just finished a class on building a business website. Still….I really am glad overall. Oh there are days it would be convenient, and I wouldn’t have a stack of stuff two inches thick constantly rotating on my desk. But…here’s the reasons I’m glad I dont:

(please note, this isn’t a rant against those of you who do check your accounts daily or do business on the web, just my thoughts)

* I can’t spend (waste) too much time on the computer because I can’t constantly be checking my blog, facebook, and email. Plus, there’s less chance of posting something I’ll regret or feeling like I must post something, anything!

*Not wondering if someone thought of me in the last three hours.

Did you know checking electronic accounts too much actually raises and then crashes the dopamine and endorphines in your head? Guess its cause we all get a happy fuzzy when someone says hi but if we check  and nobody has notices us today, well the blues start.

*Don’t need to buy filters for the computer.

I know some of you don’t use filters but I have two prepubescent boys at home who are on the verge of manhood and I don’t want to go there with the web, thanks. If we don’t got the web, they can’t stumble on sexually explicit material. Plus, when they are on the computer we can work together and have sane conversations beforehand about what’s appropriate and what’s not and at an appropriate age.

*If I feel the need to say something and it takes me three days to get it on the blog, I might change my mind completely, find more information, or just be better written.

So there it is and yes you can call me stuck in a previous century. I manage to keep up and I’d rather be outside chasing cows and enjoying the sunshine anyway.

Happy Unplugging!

Where Does E. coli Come From? It’s Complicated!

This is an interesting article about a big health concern. Where Does E. coli Come From? It’s Complicated!.