Springtime = Newborns

Springtime activities are in full swing, but at 15 degrees Fahrenheit this morning I felt bad for this lil’ sweetheart…but calves are tough! Born before dawn, she was cleaned up, standing on her wobbly legs, nursing and trying to jump and play at 7:45 am.

Newborn Heifer

#CameraShyTake52PhotographyChallenge Market

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Western Wednesday ~ Branding Calves

For those who aren’t familiar, yes, we’re western here…and calves get branded and their ears notched just like they did 100 years ago.

Why? Because there are cattle rustlers still today…just like 100 years ago. True story. This is the best way for a rancher to protect his or her property.

Catchin' the Heels

Nice double heel catch by Erik (who BTW, makes a living as a buckaroo).

 

Some ranches catch heels only, but in our area, most ranches catch the head then the heels. The calf is then drug to the fire by the heels.

Your’s truly and Colt holding the front legs while the ears are being notched.

Does that last photo look a little hazy? By the end of the day, the wind was blowing 30 mph and the dust was thick and heavy. My camera had never been so dirty!

Western Wednesday ~ Gathering Pairs at Crowley Ranch

Moving Pairs

Last week I spent two days at Crowley ranch gathering and moving pairs. Fall is when most ranchers gather their pairs from summer pasture, sort the mamma cows from the calves then ship the calves to auction yards. Yes, the clouds were threatening rain, but we were lucky this time.

Searching for Pairs

The cow boss usually runs three border collie cow dogs at a time. I can only handle my one! It was great fun and can’t wait to go back in the spring to help turn out the newborn pairs to summer pasture…and the cycle goes on and on…

Dec 13 – Canine

Rastus needed to have some fun today, so we went out and played with the cows. He had a blast of course! The lighting was terrible, and I fixed this as best I could in Elements.

When I do action shots, I use the “action” mode on my PowerShot which allows me to take consecutive photos. I’ve still yet to master handling the dog and the camera at the same time 😉

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Nov 27 – Animals

Hmmmmm…taking cow portraits first thing in the morning…the girls thought I was nuts  This is our pretty red replacement heifer. She was weaned a month ago, and we put her back into the herd with mother yesterday. All is good, they were happy to see each other, but that was it! Weaning was successful!

We really don’t have a name for her yet…but we refer to her as “Early Girl” because we thought she was a month early…our error in the calculation of her mother’s due date…or should I say an error in the cow-culation?

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April 17 ~ Photo A Day #107

I helped the neighbors move some pairs out to summer grazing. We didn’t have far to travel, but it’s hard moving the small calves…they get easily confused and try to run back quite often. The more riders you have the better.

Moving Pairs

When we got back to the ranch, there was a cow trying to give birth, but was having complications. She was put into a chute so they could reach in to find out what the problem was…the calf had its head down to the right instead of up with the nose between the front legs. They had to get the head up into the correct position (which was not an easy task)…then with a gentle tug, the calf came out easily. Both mother and calf are doing fine.

Giving a Little Help

April 15 ~ Photo A Day #105

After we branded Early Girl yesterday, we turned the two cows, the calf and one of the yearlings out on the hill (about 270 acres of grazing). Below is Early Girl this evening exploring her new surroundings along the top of the rim rock behind the horse barn…she’s enjoying the wide open spaces!

Along the Rim Rock

When we opened the gate for them to go up the hill yesterday, they took off like a shot with dust flying!!

Number Three is still locked up in the pasture at the cow barn with Tumbleweed for company…waiting for her big day…they weren’t very happy to see everyone else get to go up the hill. But, they’ll get over it 🙂

April 14 ~ Photo A Day #104

It was branding day at our place…just one calf. Kind of an odd photo…but I was kneeling on the calf’s neck while my husband was putting the brand on her.

JKS Brand

We’re still waiting for Number Three to have her calf…she’s closer, but not quite there yet. BTW, the calf that we got and tried to graft onto our cow Annabelle didn’t work out…well, actually the calf was fine, it was Annabelle…after 15 days of struggling to get her to take the calf, she just wasn’t going to, so we gave it up. It just sucks when you loose a calf is all I can say.

April 13 ~ Photo A Day #103

Saturday was the first of the High Desert Cutters’ summer show series. We spent the day at Roaring Springs Ranch south of Frenchglen.  The club is a very low key group that enjoys getting together to work their horses…training them to be cutting horses.

Or in my case, I’m not training Colt to be a cutting horse, but a reined cow horse. I use the event as practice for my herd work in the reined cow horse competitions.

Either way, it’s a great way to get out with your horse and see how it stacks up to the others in the class! We have awesome awards at the end of the season too. It’s a lot of fun.

The day could have been a bit nicer…it looks great since the sun is shining, but the wind was blowing up to 40 mph gusts and the blowing sand was terrible. At the end of the day, we were all dirt and grit with faces that felt like they had been sandblasted!

Teaching a Young Cow Horse

Are we complaining? Na…we’ll go out there and do it all over again!

April 7 ~ Photo A Day #97

Still photos are so deceiving…the wind was gusting up to 30 mph as we did our best to rope calves for branding. My husband and I are still at the rookie stage with our roping and had a very difficult time getting our ropes to catch anything. Thank goodness the “good ropers” were there to get the job done!

Buckaroos

This was the last catch of the day. The buckaroo on the far side is holding the calf at the branding fire while the other is most likely talking “cows and roping.”

It was still a good day; the food was great, the beer cold and hanging with friends is always  a bonus.