Tag: cows

Saturday Adventures on the Ranch

Around here during the week my husband is off spraying field crops or weeds in the back country and I am busy visiting with ranchers about their nutrition programs, so that leaves most of our cattle working days to the weekend. Since the weather was so nice last fall and grass was plentiful, we were able to leave our herd out on pasture longer, with hay and protein supplementation. All summer and fall my husband Cody, our good friend, Tate, and I, worked on getting our new feeders set up and our corral finished. When we brought the cows home the end of December we were all so very excited to try out our new feeding system. As most things on a ranch go, the corral was near finished by the cows arrival, but not quite. We have never built a corral before. There are lots of ideas out there so we used parts and pieces of other corral plans and between all three of us, came up with a nice, simple design.

Cow desk!! Underneath/ shaded storage as well! Its the small things, right?

Cow desk!! Underneath/ shaded storage as well! Its the small things, right?

A well set-up corral can make working cattle safer and easier for all humans and animals involved. I had a few small requests, one of which was a place to set down vaccine bottles, a notebook, etc.

Beauty!

Beauty!

It was a lot of hard work, but earlier this month Cody sent me a picture of the final product and I was oh so excited! The next picture he sent was what he calls my “cow desk.” It almost brought me to tears! What is happening? Crying over a darn corral? Being a girl is the funniest thing sometimes. I think my excitement just got the best of me. Of course I described this finished product as beautiful and gorgeous, much to Cody’s dismay.

Cattle leisurely headed up to the circular part of the corral.

Cattle leisurely headed up to the circular part of the corral.

We recently gave our cattle a routine vitamin/mineral booster and a worm/parasite preventative and the new corral system worked great. It was an odd feeling to work your own cattle in a corral on your place and have zero previous experience. It was like driving a brand new rig off the dealer’s lot.

Mama cows waiting patiently.

Mama cows waiting patiently.

At the end of the day we gathered a few adjustments to be made, but it was a glorious feeling to have successfully used our new facility and see all our ideas come to life. Also, because I know you are dying to know, my “cow desk” was everything I ever dreamed of!

Cow desk is Mesa approved!  Yes, that is Elsa in her hand. Who doesn't love Frozen?

Cow desk is Mesa approved! And yes, that is Elsa in her hand. Her doesn’t like Frozen?!

She just HAD to have the blue shirt on.....

She just HAD to have the blue shirt on…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always a great day when you can work cows safely and efficiently! Is there something you just found that makes your job easier? What are your Saturday adventures? We love to hear from you!

Next time I’ll share about my adventures with the sewing machine!

~ Diana

Categories: Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life

Be Thankful in All Things

givethanks

My sister-in-law made this neat little banner for our Thanksgiving meal.

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s Dec. 2, but there really is no denying the calendar. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebrating with family and friends. I always enjoy this season. The sights, smells and sounds of the holidays bring a smile to my face. And while I offer thanks and praises every day; it’s still nice to have a day completely dedicated to showing gratitude for our many blessings.

I am thankful for a strong family. Not only did I grow up with a large, supportive family, but I gained many wonderful people into my life when I married. Through good times and bad, we are in it together and committed to making it all work. It’s like that with so many of Idaho’s ranching families. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with them over a cup a coffee. They love the land, their animals and their families. And whatever life throws at them, they just get back up and keep fighting for what they believe in.

snowcattle_ICW_0012

Our little guy checking out the cows.

I am thankful for my husband and children. You never know how much you can love your spouse until you get all bundled up and go out to check heat on the cows in the middle of the night or help fix a fence in a blizzard because the cows got out (that was really early in our marriage). Our children provide us with moments of joy and laughter daily (and some times minutes of head shaking too). Truly though, I am thankful I get to be their mom because they continually inspire me to be better tomorrow than I am today. They are our future, our legacy.

I am thankful for my health. I know friends and family who are struggling now with various health setbacks, and I do not take for granted being physically fit and healthy. And beef is definitely part of my healthy lifestyle.

I am thankful to be part of a strong agriculture community. Being part of the food and fiber industry is not easy as so much is dependent on factors completely out of our control—like weather, markets and consumer demand. But I can’t think of an industry more noble or rewarding.

snowcattle_ICW_0011

Hoping for lots of baby calves to hit the ground next year.

Speaking of what’s unpredictable. It snowed again here. Last week was quite mild, then boom, it’s winter again. Of all the weeks this month this was not the one my husband wanted snow. He’s been planning his schedule for breeding cows and this is the big week. He has done all the prep work, given the shots, synchronized them so they would come into heat at the same time, researched all the pedigrees, calculated the EPDs, purchased the bull semen, and spent many hours studying and planning. The weather is not on our side right now as it can affect the conception rate in cows. I’m hoping all his hard work will still pay off though. There is nothing so rewarding as seeing the new baby calves hit the ground (which will happen 9 months from now if all goes as planned).

snowcattle_ICW_0013

But that is one thing with cattlemen and women. Even though the weather is not going as planned, we will still be thankful for the moisture. We will be thankful in all things—both big and small.

~ Maggie

Categories: Idaho Cattlewomen, Lifestyle, Ranch Life

Fall Colors, Cowboy Style

As the leaves begin to turn their beautiful orange and yellow colors, you can begin to feel the chill in the early morning air. Fall approaches us this year with more items added to our “to do list.” Along with our horse and cattle operation and saddle business, my husband Matt, is a rep for Western Video Market. As per the customer’s request, he will travel to the location of where the cattle are, and video calves, yearlings or breeding stock. You can watch the sale on satellite TV or the Internet. When the seller and buyer agree on price and delivery date, the rep will go to location of cattle and help sort and load them. It is the reps responsibility to make sure the trucks are at the location to load, the cattle are the right weight, and all paper work is taken care of.

cattlewoman on horseback

The boys and I have had the opportunity to go with Matt and help. On one of our most recent video sales, we went to a beautiful ranch in Wyoming. It required us to stay the night so we decided to stay at a hotel so the boys could swim. The owner of the cattle asked us to help him gather the critters in a large field above his house. So we loaded our horses, kids and swim suits. It was the later part of the morning as we pulled into the corral, saddled our horses, and put on the extra coat we didn’t think we would need.

Fall gathering on a good horse.

We head out across the field aiming for the pine trees and mountains that lie ahead of us. The cattle are waiting in the mist, slowly milling around. The field turned out to be a rather large one. It took a large part of the day, the sun warming us up enough to take a few layers off. It was a great gather, the calves running and bucking, and cows bawling for their own, and we even got to rope a few stragglers that decided to turn back on us. No complaining here. It was a beautiful day, spent riding with my family, getting our young horses rode, and being reminded how blessed we truly are. We left them in a corral overnight so they would be easy to get to in the early morning to sort and ship. We had a nice evening, and the boys swam until their hearts were content.

The next morning came fast, a rather chilly one in fact! Matt and I sorted the calves from cows, making sure our counts each matched. The truckers were there, waiting patiently for their turn to load. The brand inspector looked the cows and calves over. Matt takes care of the paper work transactions, and we load the trucks. Away they go…

That job is complete, and now we go onto the next one…gathering our own cows. Happy Fall Y’all!

~ Jayme

Jayme lives in Shelley, Idaho, with her husband Matt, and their three sons. She was daddy’s little cowgirl being raised horseback on the family cattle ranch. Matt and Jayme have known each other since their early junior rodeo days. They are both 4th generation ranchers and have a cow-calf and horse operation. Jayme drives school bus, and helps Matt on the ranch in addition to chauffeuring kids. Matt is also a custom saddle maker.

Jayme also blogs at www.cavvysavvy.com where this post first appeared.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life

Gathering the cows

I heard Skeeter’s pickup drive by the house, I looked at my alarm clock and it was 6:23 a.m.  Oops, I didn’t set my alarm and didn’t hear James’. I could hear James in the shower. We were supposed to be up and ready to head to Willow Creek for day one of gathering cows. I jumped out of bed and went to the kitchen to make sandwiches and put together a meager lunch for the crew. I could hear my father’s voice saying, “We’re burnin’ daylight.” I checked with JJ to see if she was going to be able to go with us or if she had to stay for volleyball pictures. I was delighted when she said she didn’t have pictures and encouraged her to get moving. She had a volleyball game Thursday night, early volleyball practice Friday morning, went to the Gooding vs. Melba football game Friday night and got home after midnight.  Needless to say, she wasn’t jumping out of bed.

gatheringcows_JBBAL

Cows and calves are summered in the mountains. In the fall, the family gathers them up and brings them to the home place to wean the calves.

Skeeter caught the horses in time for the horseshoer to show up and set one of Rocky’s shoes. Once that was done, Rocky, Cash and Boone were loaded and we headed north to Willow Creek, a little less than an hour away. Again, not the early start we had hoped for, but we were finally headed to our destination. We met up with Ben, Bruce and Bruce’s dog, Meg, at the south end of the allotment where several pair had been taking advantage of the water and green feed the August rains brought us.

And so it began—up the hillside, picking up cows along the way headed north towards the cabin and the upper meadow field. We had several tree and brush filled draws to clear along the way. We managed to flush out a deer that headed around the hillside and appeared to be on a collision course with Skeeter and his horse, Boone. She headed straight up the hill when she got a glimpse of them. Even with the occasional cow bawls, horse whinny’s and Bruce saying “that’ll do, Meg,” it was very peaceful and seemed like you could hear the faintest of noises.

About halfway we met up with Rishelle, Kris and Kris’ dog, Skye. They had left from the cabin and rode through Hagan Canyon. They reported seeing a few pairs, but they went further up the canyon, eluding them. We developed another game plan. Ben, Kris and Skye headed west further up the hillside and would drop down into the orchard, named for the lone apple tree in the area. The rest of us continued north pushing the 30-some pair we had gathered along the way. We made it to the meadow field near the cabin and barn, clearing the five head in the horse pasture.

We began eating our lunch and watching for Ben and Kris to come down from the orchard with any cows they gathered along the way. When we saw the head of the first cow poke around the side of the hill, we mounted back up and went to help. A rough count gave us 47 pair and 2 bulls, which included a number of animals that didn’t belong to us. That means we didn’t have everything. Guess this is day one of 2014 gathering.

~ Dawn

gatheringHerefords_JBBALDawn and her family raise registered Herefords near Gooding, Idaho. Her great grandparents began a legacy of raising cattle in Idaho. She and her husband, James, and their two children continue producing range-ready bulls for commercial cattlemen. They enjoy working together as a family and the ranching lifestyle.

Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch Life

Cereal for Cows and 4th of July Travels

Hello! I’m Laurie, a 4th generation rancher from south central Idaho. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and are staying cool this summer.

Western Nevada Cattle Feeders

4th of July weekends are always very busy for Idaho’s farming and ranching families, and ours was no different. With second cutting hay a week or two off, we marched off to Nevada and the Silver State International Rodeo, an invitational rodeo open to contestants from their respective states who placed 5-15 and did not qualify for nationals. This provided not only an opportunity to spend time with other rodeo families, but also to brand a bunch of cattle on the ranch we have in Nevada. We also visited Western Nevada Cattle Feeders in Lovelock.

While many families reach for the cereal box for breakfast, this feedlot uses cereal in their feedlot rations, or more simply put, they feed it to cows. They take a product, Fruit Loops in this case, that cannot be used by the company or the consumer, and feed it to a cow. A cow’s feed ration is specially formulated by a nutritionist. They decide what ingredients can be used based on availability and nutrient level. The cereal replaces traditional grain or carbohydrates sources and provides energy for the animal. In turn, that cow ultimately provides a healthy source of protein for people—beef! That’s pretty amazing if you ask me!

~Laurie

Laurie and her family farm and ranch on land homesteaded by her husband’s family in 1908. She is passionate about the industry and the Western lifestyle. Stay tuned to hear more about her family and their adventures with hosting a foreign exchange student.

 

Categories: Idaho Cattlewomen