Questions and Answers – January 2013 Edition

Lots of questions this time… think I’ll split it up a little!

is that a vulture in tree w/ eagle? Do bald eagles hang with golden eagles?  Pam, Sally

That’s an immature bald eagle.  It takes about 5 years for a bald eagle to become “bald” or white headed.  You’ll see balds and goldens together on road kill sometimes… but friendly “hanging out”, I don’t think so.

Hi…My question involves your livestock. I live in Northern California where we do have fluctuating temperature’s during our 4 season’s as you do, but not in such extreme variations. I was just wondering how the animals survive in such brutal wind ravaged sub freezing temperature’s. I know you move yours from higher to lower ground, but is that a feasible alternative for all farms and ranchers? and if not what do they do to ensure the herd survives? Thank you:)>  Karen

First of all, breed.  That’s why you won’t see Brahman or long-eared cattle here.  Their coats are too short.  We offer protection with native countryside.  You’d be simply amazed on what it feels like in a patch of boxelders when the wind is blowing!  Much nicer!  Even the lee of hills makes a difference.  Wyoming’s brilliant sunshine helps… and the lack of humidity.  If the sun is shining, they’re warm!  Fat.  We pour lots of feed to them, much more than ranchers in California do.  It gives them energy to stay warm.  Some places have lean to’s, or stack their hay to give shelter as well.  Thankfully, your “brutal wind ravaged sub freezing temperatures” don’t last long!

Your pictures show your boys helping on the ranch frequently. Do they have jobs off the ranch, or are the fortunate enough to make their living as ranchers? Donna

Donna, Daniel has been here full time since graduating from college.  Brandon has take a position with the Washakie County Extension office.  He works here, when he’s not working there!  Victoria, as a teacher in a different town, just comes over on our Big Days.

When do the little ones in your family start riding? How old were your boys when they first rode out to gather on their own horses?Ketra

I remember a photo of me packing little three year old Brandon in front of me on horseback and he was sound asleep!  That was when a pickup was along to put him in… The first story I always tell about Daniel was the day that turned into a Mega Day, unfortunately.  He was probably five.  Toria and Brandon started at that age, too…

How are your chickens doing in this winter weather? more pics of them please when you have time…Judy

The Chickens are happy… I’m getting eggs still, though they aren’t fond of walking in any snow!

How long do you normally keep your bulls? Has anyone on the ranch ever had a close call with one? Thanks! Sara

I could ask Johnny, he has it all written down, but I’d guess anywhere from 2 – 5 years.  So many things can go wrong… they get “broken”, or don’t produce, or are a pain to keep in the pasture.  Sometimes, they just lay down and die.  We buy a few bulls every year.  Our bulls are pretty nice overall, and thank goodness, no one’s been injured!


What is the coldest temperature you’ve ever experienced?? (for me it was -35F in college at Potsdam, NY north of the Adirondacks!) Marilyn

That’s easy.  -55F.  Vernon was riding in the badlands… I stayed home!

Hey there,

Was looking at your root cellar. I try to look back to catch up on lost time. Do you know how old it is and do you still use it? I have tried various alternatives but either too wet or too dry. Jean

Oh, yes, I use it… my potatoes and onions and some other stuff is out there.  It works great, but offhand I don’t know when it was built.

(to be continued)

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