Normally, after gathering our cows from the badlands, we would be sorting them… Early calvers from later ones… And vaccinating with scour guard vaccine that they could pass along to their unborn calves… But we’re not.
Our corrals are icy. Built on a slight incline, which is great for drainage, it makes for a tricky situation. Slick. Slanted. Very pregnant cows. Cows can fall on the ice and actually cause their calves to flip inside them. This creates a twisted uterus and it is impossible to calve vaginally. You don’t know it’s happened until you’re calling your vet with a cow that can’t progress with her labor, with possibly a dead calf inside her.
Since we have a bit of time, and a chance for some weather to help alleviate the ice, we’re waiting.
To everything there is a season… Sometimes they move around a bit on the calendar, but this year, we got the full use of our badlands BLM allotment. The BLM regulates how many cattle, which pasture, and how long you can graze on these public lands.
Today, the guys worked on gathering our cattle off these lands.
How long we stay often depends on the weather, and we had a chinook blow through the other day, melting much of the snow, with water running through the gullies and into reservoirs like it was springtime. The next day, everything froze and it snowed three inches out there, creating horrible slippery conditions.
We usually gather on horses, but the guys decided to use four wheels instead of four hooves. That left me out.
Thanks to Brandon, I have pics for you though!
Click on the photo to enlarge it, and you can see a cow standing in the tall sagebrush!
A storm blew in, creating an eerie light.
By afternoon, Wyoming was showing off her blue skies again, and the girls were happy to head home.
I took this photo a few years ago. I was reminded of it as the snow poured down with this latest storm. I watched as it sifted down six or seven inches in Ten Sleep, while I worked, warm and dry, in the library.
I know, though, that there were farmers and ranchers out in that weather, working to feed and protect their livestock.
Been there. Done that.
Oh, and here’s the link to what I wrote that day!