Questions and Answers – May 2014 Edition

I know, I know… THE question of the day is, “What were the prayer requests for?”.  Well, let’s just say, they helped, and I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE each and every one!  When/if it’s possible to share… I will.  But, please know, it meant the world to me!

Let’s start back to our blessed life, by answering questions you sent me!

Ginger:  Did Dally find a beau?

This time around at least, Dally’s one and only was Tank.  Succeed or fail, he was it!

Pam:  a huge thank you for the update on the adorable calf. I, for one, like to know how all turns out in the end and I am glad he found a new mom. But now I guess I DO have a question….this may seem very silly but is there any recognition at all when he comes across his real mom and sibling? silly, huh? Hey, I’m just a real city girl.

Pam, it’s not a silly question at all… and if I was a hopeless romantic, I’d say there was some recognition, but… no.  It is more likely just my imagination, and he’ll continue to forget!  For survival, his focus needs to be on his new mother, her smell, her looks, her bawling.

Judith:  Is that grayish plant in the great photograph of the beautiful “bum calf” sagebrush?

It sure is!  Sagebrush is everywhere in the cowboy state, and I rarely take a photo without some sagebrush in it!  There’s different kinds, it can grow taller than a horse, and… well, hey, that’s a great idea for Ten Things You Didn’t Know…  Thanks!

Judy (and Della!):  In watching a certain “VET” show on TV we notice it is not rare for milk cows to get a twisted stomach. Does this happen very often in Beef cattle also?

A twisted stomach?  Hmmm.  Not very often, I’ve been told… now, twisted uterus-es.  uteri.  uteramus.  Multiple uterus.  That DOES happen.  We attribute that to falling on the ice and if the calf is the right size, it’ll flip the uterus, and when it is calving time, they can’t progress down the birth canal.  That’s one reason why we keep a close eye on them during calving season.  A c-section would then be warranted.  A twisted stomach though, I think might be more prevalent for milk cows perhaps because of their large frame?  I’m no dairy farmer or vet tech… anyone want to jump in this conversation?????

Suzanne:  What is a reasonable number of cows for a bull to service? When you turn out the cows for breeding, do you have whatever number of cows and a single bull or multiple bulls? Does the bulls age make any difference in this equation?  Love your blog & thank you for taking questions.

Hey, Suzanne, I’m glad you like my blog, and I’m pretty much open to questions anytime!  In this country, we plan on a bull servicing 25 to 30 cows.  We turn our cows out into a pasture and put the appropriate number of bulls in there.  We are lucky that we have various pastures available.  Bulls have to be in good shape to be able to travel the country, hopefully staying in the right pasture!, but able to walk the distances to find the cows in heat.  Bulls, like most males in the animal world, have a tendency to lose weight when breeding season is on, so they must be fit before breeding season starts.  Health relates to sperm count as well.  Younger bulls service fewer females than older ones, partly because they’re young and still growing, partly because there is a social order with bulls, and the older, bigger bulls get seniority.  Big bulls will chase off younger bulls too, but you’d rather have them breeding cows than bullying the young whippersnapper!  Tidbit of the day: scrotal circumference has a direct correlation to sperm production.  Bull catalogs (from which you buy/bid on bulls) usually list the scrotal measurement for your information.  So, now you know!

Kris:  So did putting their water on top of the cans help keep it clean? Sounds like a great idea!  (I put the chicken water on top of some dog food cans in one photo…)

Yes, Kris, elevating the water definitely helps keep it clean!  I have two quart jar waterers out with them now, one on a pan perhaps 4″ high, one on a stump about 6″ high.  They will drink all the water out of the shorter one, and maybe half the water out of the taller one.  I’m wondering if part of them just don’t know it’s there… or it is too tall?  They have no problem getting up on a bale of hay, so it doesn’t make sense that they CAN’T reach the taller waterer.  If I put it on the ground, they drink it all.  Anyway, it does keep them from scratching their straw in the water so badly.  As soon as I lay my hands on a 2 gallon bucket with a lid, I’ll build them a waterer with chicken nipples.  That’s the best way!  Had one in my chicken tractor and it worked great.  Plus saying “chicken nipples” just makes me giggle!

Marilyn:  What do you do with the cross combing you have removed?

Cross combing is the empty comb from my bee hive that was built the wrong direction.  (Check out the Bee tab on the top of this page for videos and bee related entries.)  If the comb is straight and large enough to use in starting a new, correctly directed comb, I’ll use it for that.  Otherwise, I have a bag of comb that I will, at some point, melt down for bees wax for crafts.  I do want a fair supply before I take the time to do that though, so for now… it’s just hanging in a sack in my basement!

Kris:  When you posted about moving Brandon’s cattle the other day, it struck me again how your family has been able to pass ranching, and the Greet Ranch, along in the family – from Vernon’s grandparents, to his parents, to him, and now your sons are an active part of the ranch also. There are a lot of farm families who haven’t been able to do that, and it’s heartening to see you getting there. And raising up the next generation of little ranchers! Any tips along that line for other farm and ranch families?

Oh, I don’t know that we have any great secret… We really pencil things out to see if they’ll work, never rush into decisions, try not to overextend the finances.  We each have our strengths and separate work accordingly, covering for each other if necessary.  We try to work out the best way to pass the ranch along, which changes depending on the whimsy of government regulations and taxes.  We, and our accountant, try to stay on top of that!  I think we all work hard in our own ways, and we respect each other, and LIKE each other (which is different from LOVING one another!)  I wanted my kids to choose this life, not feel PRESSURED into it… and so I made them go away to college.  I wanted them to not regret that later!  I’ve just been very blessed!  From great in-laws, to husband, to kids, and now grandkids.  Life is GREAT.

I think I caught all the questions…let me know if I missed yours!

Thanks so much for sticking by me in my absence… and for praying for me and my family.



Questions and Answers – May 2014 Edition — 7 Comments

  1. Glad to hear that your family emergency did not result in a relative passing away. Welcome back. I get up at 5, let the borzoi and Shetland sheepdogs out of the house, turn on the computer, fix my coffee, and then read your blog – which often makes me laugh, and can be one of the highlights of my day. Thank you.

  2. So glad,I will keep praying. It is a GREAT possiblity that Lark will be spayed. Hips . 52L/.45R. I’am devastated. My dream is ended. Small thing compared to yours.

  3. Happy to see you back here also, and glad things seem to be back on an even keel. Time, age, change are all things we have to deal with, but it helps to have support over the bumps!

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