Posts tagged ‘family farms’

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

 

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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!

 

It Rained on the Desert Today….okay poured

Last night we had a huge storm…. our first was about two weeks ago. When it rains here, we all rejoice. You can almost feel the earth holding its breath under the hot sun and then give a sigh of relief for the cool fresh water, sometimes you can hear the water sinking into the dry earth. We pray for it, wait for it, kick the dust, and do a rain dance when it comes! The first rain we had the temperature dropped from 100 to 72.  After it was safe, the kids took to the puddles!  My beautiful picture rain puddles

June – the bottle baby

This is our cowlender girl for june.

dogie calf

June the bottle baby

We found her at the waterlot the other day obviously very hungry and weak. She went from cow to cow sucking and trying to get milk. No one claimed her. It is always an agonizing decision of wether to make a bottle baby. Did mom park her here and just hadn’t come back? Has mom abandoned her? Is mom one of the first calf heifers that’s clueless? If we don’t take her home will she die? If we do take her home will she die? After letting her wander and calling cows in with no sucess, we loaded her up and took her home.

Two bottles daily for at least 45 days and then feeding her out. Yes, she will get a ration and not just grass. On only grass, bottle babies or dogies, are small and scrubby and never

But mom’s milk is in the back!

thrive without mom around to teach them what and how to eat. So, now we’ll have a diary you can follow as she grows.  She wouldn’t take the bottle without some encouragement, and as you can see, a little faking out until today.

Illegal Activities???

A recent proposed ruling from the Department of Labor would make it illegal for children to participate in many day to day activities on farms and ranches, as well as potentially 4H and FFA. Children wouldn’t be able to be around large animals or up higher than six feet for starters. All of the following activities that are boys enjoy would be illegal. We purchased the ranch in part to impart values to our children of how to work hard, the rewards of that work, responsibility, and good stewardship of the land and animals we are blessed with for companionship, work, and food. Safety and age appropriateness is always on our mind. We cherish the time with our kids and working together to achieve a family goal and dream. Daniel already wants to ranch when he’s grown. If this ruling goes into effect, many of our activities would be curtailed, if not altogether stopped. How does this affect you? Well, for starters, it will be even harder to teach kids a love of the land and how to live on it, which would translate into even less family farms. You won’t be able to hire that school kid to mow your grass because they’ll be using power equipment (don’t know anybody who wants to use a push mower do you?). Please consider contacting the DOL with your concerns and check out the website keepfamiliesfarming.com.