Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Branding With a Little TLC

Yesterday we started our Spring Works. I tumbled out of bed at 3:30 to start biscuits for breakfast. With the the extensive drought, our calves are strung out age wise and we're spending a lot of our time feeding so we're working cattle sporadically. One day this week, 2 next, 3 next, and so on. Our college girl came home for a few days after Finals and she was thrilled to get to work one day. Honestly, this kid is more comfortable on a horse than she is on her own two feet.

And if we're working cattle...she's really in her element,

and has been since she was little:

Around here, cow works are work and fun all rolled into one:

I wonder if the kids miss it as much as we miss them:

I'm kinda thinkin' they do:

I wanted to take some photos while she was here, but they worked on the north end of the ranch at Silman Pens today and I can't get all the way over there... and back... and fix dinner, so you get shots from the past.

 It really was a toss up. Go take pictures... or light, fluffy airy Butterhorns to round out a dinner of chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, salad, and Cajun Cake. I'm thinking the crew might have staged a mutiny had I chosen the pictures.

Probably a good thing, I didn't take pictures anyway. DH came back to headquarters covered in blood. He wasn't looking peaked or pale and he was sawing some PVC pipe so I did not inquire as to the state of his shirt. I knew it wasn't his and I would get the story later in the day - probably at the dinner table where all stories are told. I pulled the last batch of rolls out of the oven and went out to see if he needed help. He said a calf had a dislocated ankle and he was making a sort of cast for it. Ranchers have been accused of being cruel or not taking care of their livestock. That can never be said around here.

This little guy will spend some time in the pen, with his Mama and all the hay his little heart desires:

We've walked colicky horses through the night, brought calves into the house during a blizzard to dry them, drenched cattle 3-4 times a day which is like wrestling with a 600# UFC fighter, brought baby calves into the world at 2 am, rescued baby kittens that fell into water troughs, doctored day old colts:

made an impromptu eye patch from a pair of britches for a calf

 bottle fed countless dogie calves

 and I rescued a baby calf from an irrigation ditch while driving to town one day. If it can be saved, we're sure as heck gonna do everything we can to save it, and when it can't...we're still gonna do everything we can to save it. It's how we roll at the end of this dirt road.


Anonymous said...

That is the story that needs to be told more often. Farmers and Ranchers to take excellent care of their animals.

Nancy said...

I never understood the mentality that farmers and ranchers are cruel to their stock. Hello, people, it's not feasible to hurt the very animals that are the livelihood of the operation. Okay, I'll get off of my soapbox for a bit.

Love the photos. I've vote for butterhorns over photos, too.

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

Love seeing pics. of life on a cattle ranch. My city-slicker kids have no idea of the happiness and hard work that happens on a farm. They think beef magically appears all in a row at the grocery store.
Looking forward to more pics....

Cindy said...

I like how you roll at the end of the dirt road......and beyond.

I LOVED this post!

Judy Laquidara said...

Love your pictures and your stories! I know it's hard work for you all . . harder than I can even comprehend, but what a life you and your family live. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Nancy: said...

Thank you for sharing your story and pictures. The pictures are wonderful.

Bob K said...

The worth of a man (or woman) can be measured how he treats people and animals that can do nothing for him.

agent713 said...

Some year I'm going to come participate in Spring branding with you. I'll even get out of bed at 3:30am to help with biscuits!

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