Questions and Answers March 2017 Edition

JoAmy: How did you meet your husband?

Well, strangely enough, I’ve been asked this question enough that I actually wrote a blog post about it HERE.  It’s all about coincidences…

Joan: Do the new calves and their moms stay in a barn for a while or do they just hunker down and keep each other warm?

Heifers and their calves MAY get a night in the calving shed, depending on timing, weather, and attitudes… but, yes, for the most part, they are outside in sheltered areas (not barns) and manage just fine.  It’s amazing what Mother Nature has prepared them to handle!

Bert: Ever read any of (Baxter Black’s) stories about calving season? My question: You ready to sell me that copper wire buffalo yet???

I can always read some Baxter Black!  He’s very funny!  Well, actually, I’m kind of busy creating stuff with wire right now.  I was hoping to make another buffalo, I’ll let you know if I get one done!  This first one has a couple of mistakes…

Joanne: My question. How do you decide how long to keep Mama cows being Mamas? Do they get worn out after so many ‘babies’?

It’s generally based on two things.  If they get pregnant and the timing of their delivery, and whether or not they have teeth.  Their body condition goes down after they start losing teeth.  It does pick back up a bit after they’re all gone, but we choose to sell them before then.

Marilyn: I’m curious about the dogs your boys and maybe Johnny own…and how they
get along with your two?

Marilyn, I still have three dogs… Lucas, Dally, and Eden.  Lucas is NOT a fan of Tuff, who is a stud dog still.  He doesn’t do too much with Sam.  Dally doesn’t really care for anyone, because no one can follow her rules correctly.  Once she puts them in their place, and I put her in hers, truce is called.  Eden would play with anyone but will gang up with Lucas and Dally if they are being knotheads.  Everyone loves Jekyll, because Jekyll is a goof, and too hard to resist.  Sadie and Jazz are temporary visitors that get along just fine.  The only big fly in the ointment is Brandon’s Gemma.  My dogs hate her.  They’ve all fought with her and she with them.  It’s ugly.

Kris: Can I come and learn the fine points of rammed earth castle building? Or did I just miss the class?

I know you probably didn’t mean this for a real question… but I just wanted you to know my brother did build a rammed earth house down in Casper (for someone else) and I have wanted one ever since.  I just can’t convince anyone else that dirt can make a beautiful house – for real!  I would go to a class on it! 😉

Paul: (Your video is) showing it just like it happens, maybe some time show the birth?

Well, strangely enough… I’ve done that, though it might be time to do another new video without the loud camera noise like in this video.

Sandy: What are those large metal curved things in the background of the field in this photo?

That is our center pivot for irrigation.

Gina: How do you plan for grocery shopping? Do you have a long way to a grocery store. I am in the process of moving to the country and the grocery store is about 35 miles away. I figure I would shop once a month but I am finding that might be hard to do.

My main grocery store is 47 miles away.  My simple tip… buy in bulk.  Get a large freezer.  When you’re out of something, you’re just out.  Much easier to change your recipe than drive to the store!

Carole: Why do the ranchers try to get their cows to calve in February vs. a warmer month?

Well, timing.  The time of year that it is possible to put our bulls in different pastures so we can improve our herd is one reason.  That depends on pastures and grass and not running in common with other ranches.  Then there’s the timing for when we sell our steers… the timing for when we can brand… it just all works better with an early calving season.

Kris: What birth weights do your calves generally fall into?

We really focus on calving ease bulls with our heifers, of course… so we’re happy with 60-80 pound calves there.  With the older cows, we’re not so focused on that since they should be able to calve easier.  75-90 pounders are awesome, but, yes, we get those 100+ pound big boys on occasion.  It’s definitely something we follow when we look at bull scores!


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