August 28th definitely doesn’t qualify as spring time in Kansas, but don’t tell these new ranch babies that.
This little fella has found a new mama.
Two guinea hens hatched out nine chicks. They are fast little balls of feathers.
One of Laramie’s hens hatched out five chicks. They are growing up in a hurry and should be on their own by the time fall gets her in 30 days or so.
It is just another ordinary day at the ranch. Some things are planned, but most things on the itinerary are unexpected. Juan and Bea, from Spain, joined us not long after lunch. We saddled up and went to check cows, doctor calves and move some pairs.
Several cows and calves were out on the neighbors pasture. Joe and Laramie had to ride back to a gate to get around them and drive them back onto our pasture.
After fixing the fence that was laying on the ground as best we could, we began to ride through the cattle to search for a few calves which had been limping because of “foot rot”. It has been a wet year which often causes problems with the hooves of the cattle. This year we have roped and given antibiotics to quite a few calves.
Laramie roped this calf in the pasture. Joe held him down and gave him some antibiotics. We roped and doctored six calves. From there we rode through the herd and sorted off 25 pairs of longhorn cows and drove them to a new pasture.
From there we split up. Joe and Laramie doctored some more calves while Juan and Bea and I found a longhorn cow with a new calf at the back part of the pasture. We drove her across the pasture to be with the other longhorn cows.
Juan and Bea had only been riding with us a few hours, but soon got the hang of driving the cow and calf. In the photo above they had almost driven the cow and calf across the 1,200 acre pasture to the gate. The afternoon had not gone completely as planned, but we did get a lot accomplished. Tomorrow Laramie will be going back to fix the fence correctly before the cows have it torn down again. Tomorrow will be another day of unexpected happenings as well.
Yesterday was one of those long days. We got up early to do the chores. Laramie hopped on a horse bareback to run the saddle horses in while I finished up doctoring two horses on the sick list. We have two of them now which have cuts which have to be washed, bandaged, or otherwise treated each day. Joe and I rode out to gather the practice cattle while Laramie ate breakfast.
Laramie entered a rodeo this weekend and accidently got entered as a “heeler” instead of a “header”. He and Joe took a quick 30 minutes to run some roping cattle though and practice team roping in the arena.
After switching saddles to some younger horses, we left to meet up with Shane and gather several pastures. We gathered a 1,200 acre pasture with 95 heifers in it. After a quick lunch in a nearby town, we drove to another ranch and gathered 42 heifers. When Joe unloaded his horse, it was evident he wouldn’t be riding her. She was definitely lame and wouldn’t be able to ridden the rest of the day. It looked like our day would come to a quick close since it would take all four of us to gather the next two pastures. Joe made a few phone calls was able to borrow a horse from a nearby rancher, so we continued on and gathered 50 head of cows and calves and moved them closer to the corrals where we will be weaning their calves within a week.
The next set to gather was 63 head of cows and calves off the far back pasture. When we rode on top of the hill to scope things out, we could see it wasn’t going to be simple. The cows were scattered all over the pasture and several bunches were way at the far end.
We managed to get everything done quite easily, even though there was some hard riding involved in most of the day. On the 35 mile drive back to the ranch, Shane commented he thought we had ridden close to 20 miles since morning. We all calculated and agreed that 20 miles was a close estimate and our bodies concurred with that estimate as well!
We have had over 16 inches of rain in the last month. The rain gauge ran over once or twice, so we aren’t really sure how much rain we got. It is a muddy paradise here. I think I can safely say the drought is over!
The ponds are full, the creeks have run over and all the water gaps are out. The days have been very cool and weeds are growing great everywhere. There will be a lot of fence repair from the swollen creeks, a few more mosquitoes, muddy roads, dirty trucks and fat happy cows.
Branding is now complete. Since early April, we have helped neighbors brand several hundred head of calves. Our cows are late to calve, so they were the last ones to be worked and branded. The next order of business is to drive them 12 miles east to summer pasture on the 4th of July. Maybe I will fly the stars and stripes on the chuckwagon.