Nice weather

Got up to over 50 today!

I needed to sort heifer calves from steers and as both the boys are off doing other things and all the grandkids were in school or sick, Kyle Brink came over and helped me. Worked good. We got the heifers sorted and out with the cows. The steer calves are still close to the house and will continue to get feed a lot, so hopefully they will grow and be worth more , some day..Someday Soon.. cool song, be good if it happened to these calves!

New look

For the one or two of you who follow this blog, you have likely noticed that it has a changed a bit. Being thrifty in nature, I decided to rearrange this to help Cindy and I in the new adventure of a guest ranch. So the main page got changed. Hopefully for the best.

So far, weather has been great, for this time of the year.. we get a little snow and wind but all in all, so far winter hasn’t been all that bad (I hope I didn’t just jinx us!)

Cindy and I got to go to the Stockshow one day in Rapid City and we watched two different bronc riding events, morning and evening. It was a belated Anniversary outing. We both enjoyed it. Also got a bit of business done. If you haven’t checked out this website lately, you will notice some new headings. I decided that those who don’t live this life or in this area might enjoy a bit of info about it, so started a new one called Interesting Tidbits. You might want to check it out and let me know how I am doing.

Cindy and I ran into the Hills yesterday and gave all our info to the accountant for income taxes. Hopefully we don’t have to pay a bunch in. Sure don’t seem like we made any money last year and my banker would agree, I bet! 🙂

I am off to a bull sale today. after doing chores. Tate has been working on the house finishing up some odds and ends, that we had put off, making the bedrooms nice for guests and friends who come and stay. Chance has been doing one thing and another and is now going to help a neighbor calve for the next month or so, but will be done and here to help when we start. I have several saddle projects in the works and can’t seem to find the time to get enough done, so pretty much, situation normal! I hope your winter is going well.

Winter chores

We feed cattle every day. Calves are weaned off and out in the lot east of the headquarters. Supposed to get some snow and wind today, so brought them in from the pasture, east of that lot and locked them in behind protection. They had tore out some fence between the lot and the shelter belt, so after feeding we went and fixed fence. I don’t think any critter is as destructive as calves or yearlings, on fences!

We have the majority of the cows running up west, where there is grass available, but we feed a little hay every other day and the the other day when they don’t get hay they get protein, to keep them in good shape. We need to get them in and pour lice control on them as some are starting to scratch. Also on the calves. Lice aren’t much of a problem until winter, late winter, to early spring… when I was young, if you found a lousy cow (you could tell as they were thin and not looking good) we’d get them in the corral, rope them and lay them down and sprinkle a powder all over them up under and between their legs and brisket/belly. When it gets hot in spring, the lice drop off.. I am not real sure of their life cycle, but if you don’t do something for the cattle, they get poor, the lice suck their blood like a tick, only they are much, much smaller. Just one of the chores we do to help the livestock. I don’t think horses get lice, but if they do, we’ve never seen it here. I do know of cases where people have had tons of ticks on horses.. seems like if they are in timber, like up in the Black Hills, it is more prevalent.

Weather has been mild, for this time of the year.. melting snow and making ice, which makes it hard for livestock and humans alike to get around. I have things strapped to the bottoms of my mud boots, that keep me from slipping. We have two of the saddle horses shod up with non slip on their shoes. When I used to feed all winter with a team, I almost always had to get them sharp shod. If I wanted to use my team now, I’d have to be very careful or get them shod like the two saddle horses. With that stuff on their shoes, they can grip the ice and run over it with no danger. All part of ranching in this area.

Chance went and worked at the sale barn on Tuesday, he left early and called us as he saw a mountain lion just south of us. They come around on occasion. I can always tell when they are around as my horses act real goofy. They do not like lions! I have heard a lion scream a couple times.. pretty hair raising, tho’ they tell me it is just a female looking for a male to mate with.

Cattle work

Today Tate Chance ands I sorted some cattle around, moved most of the bulls down to Tates, sorted a couple calves off the cows that got back in after we weaned and a couple thinner cows off and moved the cows back up the creek. It was windy and raining on us as we moved the cows. Then we had to ride and shut one gates.. sure was thankful for shop shod horse. loping across ice is fun! We got a little damp.

Calves sure are enjoying getting out of the cramped corral. Bulls we kept in are younger and need fattened up a bit. It all went well. Tate and Chance fixed fence on the hog pasture before we let the calves out and I cleaned on the big corral a bit. Sure was fun to watch the calves buck and play across the lot. Feels like spring, but it is just our January thaw. Up in the high 40’s yesterday and about 40 today. Supposed to stay fairly warm for the next few days. I will take it! Sure beats below zero weather and snow!

Older and colder!

I had my annual birthday yesterday. Who would have thought I would live this long?

Colder today. 0 early and probably 10 or so now. Supposed to warm up in a few days. Warming up is relative.. when it gets above freezing we will think it is pretty nice. But our southern friend think it has to be 70 to be nice!

I have been fighting with some vertigo for the last few days, so Chance has done most of the feeding. He and Tate fed grain this morning and then had to make a trip too town, as Tate is doing some finish work on the house and needed more supplies. I and the dogs fed the cattle hay. When it is cold like this it takes a lot. They are not suffering. They spend most of their day eating the hay we put out for them. Then sleeping and digesting the feed, which warms them internally. Some people wonder how livestock can handle the cold. But we need to remember, a cow in good condition and a good hair coat, like these have, is comfortable at 20 degrees. So they are fine. I remember winters when it got down to 40 below and the wind was blowing. The cattle ate what ever you gave them. All of ours are acclimated and used to the temperature extremes. 40 below in winter to over 100 in summer. And they can get behind trees and man made wind breaks and that helps them a lot.. and also getting a big drink of water that is 55 degrees when it comes out of the ground at the well.

Well, here’s hoping for a ‘nuther great year on the high plains!

Weaning

We brought all the cattle in and sorted off all the calves and are weaning them. Now the cows can regain condition as they will not be nursing a calf, tho’ I really don’t think most of the calves were getting much milk from their mothers. But this way we can feed the calves better so they grow out better. And they don’t have to compete for the food against the cows, who are larger and smarter about coming to feed we haul out to them.

So now we have Moosic to listen to for a couple days, anyway!

Happy Birthday Jesus!

We had Mass at 9 this morning. I played and sang Christmas hymns before Mass and then all joined in for the music during Mass. It was great!

Marianne (my sister) and her daughter Velda are out to spend time with us. All the kids and grandkids will be here today. There are some in the family who wot be here and we will miss them. We have prime rib cooking, as I understand it.

It was a frosty morning. Chance did the chores.

It is going to be a Merry Christmas around here!