Questions and Answers – June 2013 Edition

I’m suffering from hay fever… Moving slow and pitifully… so if I don’t answer your question well enough, ask again, maybe next time I’ll feel up to it more!  Let’s get going!

First of all, one of my frequent readers has started her own blog!  She’s just getting it up and going, but go give her a shoutout!  She lives in pretty country, Wyoming, of course, and off-grid as well!  Go say hi to Marcia – http://willowcreekranching.blogspot.com

Patr – How is Lucas’ foot after the laser treatment?  And this may have been answered before but here goes: What is your FAVORITE all time meal? to eat? to cook? I’m in a real rut for cooking ideas and need some inspiration.

Patr, I never noticed that much change with his paw.  He loved the attention, and it may have made his hips feel better, but I really couldn’t tell.  My favorite all time MEAL? Usually one someone else has cooked!  I guess I really can’t pass on grilled steak, baked potato with all the fixings, and a salad with homegrown tomatoes!  To cook: probably just my roast beef in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots and onions.  I love it when it just falls apart… throw in some fresh bread to sop up the gravy and I’m a happyhappy girl.

Judy – If you see bees on your flowers do you think they are some that you lost?

It’s hard to tell, but I like to think so… I feel like I’m helping them out a bit!

Marilyn – Do you have any barn cats?? And how much do Lucas and Dally each weigh?
Thank you.

Marilyn, the neighbors have cats, and they wander around over here until the dogs spot them!  My dogs learned to be rough with cats from Boomer.  At one point we were overrun with cats, so Boomer was encouraged to chase them away… now you can’t stop him!  Lucas hovers around 75, and Dally about 45-50.

Shauna – No picture of that? (the bulls about running me over)  Too much adrenalin?

I was lucky I didn’t have my camera out, it would have been dropped!  Nope, we were too busy getting the cows across the creek to have my camera out!  Patr, Della… thanks for the story… I’m glad I don’t deal with traffic!  and thanks for the concern!  I’m fine.  It just gave my heart a little pitterpat!

Rob – Where does one go to get branding irons made? Or is it a DIY job?  Is there a branding registry?

We’ve made our brands… the machine shop over here can make some, and use some good metal.  You want it to be wide enough but not too wide, something that’ll hold the heat but not warp with the heat.  Yes, Wyoming and some other states have a brand registry.  You have to keep it current, and pay for its registration.  You often see brands for sale in the paper.  In the book they’re listed for cattle, sheep, and horses.  They’ll tell you where it is located, ours would be LRC which stands for Left Rib Cattle.  They’ll also show earmarks if there are any.  Ours is a square underbite on their left ear.  I think they print them every 10 years or so.  It’s hard to get a new brand into the book, they have certain specifications to keep people from creating something that would blotch and be unreadable.  If the irons are too close together or there’s too much detail, when you brand it’ll scar all over and you can’t read it… defeating the purpose.

Kris H – Was that you being the bar lady, with a camera in the other hand? Do you keep the bars in one fire, and the A’s in the other one? Or are they mixed up?

Yes, that was me… I was holding my glove over the end of the brand so I could hold my camera gloveless!  I really didn’t want to drop it in that dust!   You’re correct, the bars are in one barrel, the A’s in another.  That way you’re not bumping into each other while grabbing a brand, plus you can use them in order, so you know which ones are the hottest.

Alice – I’m guessing that a brand is either a 2nd or 3rd degree burn. Do you ever have to worry about them getting infected?

On a human, that would be correct, but think about cow’s hides… they can split them to make items.  Cow hides are THICK!  In my years here, I’ve seen one calf that needed after care.  ONE.  If you don’t brand them good enough to scab, the hair will grow back, and the brand will disappear.  Honestly, once you let them up, and they go find their momma, they act like nothing has happened to them.

Della – I am very interested in bee keeping and wonder if you could give me an idea of the cost to start up with it? My Dad used to keep bees and I’m certain I’d be good with them. I’m searching online for costs, but thought you might have a ballpark figure you could toss at me, since you have been doing this so recently.

Della, I’d say go for it!  I really don’t know the price for a Langstroth hive plus all the works that go with it.  That’s why I chose my Top Bar Hive.  The link is on the right side and you can go there and check out those hives.  They are on the spendy side ($250-$300), but they are built very, very well.  They sell the plans and hardware and top bars if you’d like to go cheaper, too, the plans start at $10.  There are cheaper ones on ebay (less than $100) but they don’t have all the bells and whistles either.  With top bars, you won’t need honey extractors or other tools, which I liked as well.  A couple pounds of bees can go for $75-$100.  I’m trying it again next year!

OK, thanks, guys!  Good questions!

hats


Comments

Questions and Answers – June 2013 Edition — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for the info! I’m going to have to keep researching, since I wouldn’t want to jump into bees unprepared. I should ask my Dad. He battles with his memory and communication, but often the older stories come easier.

  2. Regarding the bees.. Do you keep your hive out in case the bees want to swarm back to it? Could there have been too many bees for the size of the hive? I only thought of this after reading the Q & A.

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