Questions and Answers – February 2017 Edition

Steph: I was wondering if you use the same veterinarian for both large and small animals.

Yes, we do.  We’ve used The Good Doctor for many, many years… with occasional visits to others as needed, depending on the situation.  Most of the vets around here handle both large and small animals.

Irmgard:  Carol, since some of the pictures and videos that are mentioned in your earliest posts are missing, perhaps you could point us to your YouTube page or channel where these oldies but goodies are safely stowed away.  I hope you are using something like an external hard drive to which you can easily save each of your posts right before or after uploading it??

Irmgard, I do have all my zillion photos on cds and external hard drives.  I always thought I’d go back and insert the lost photos, but I just don’t find the time.  I had a marvelous volunteer put back many of my photos for me… and she never accepted payment!  If you’d like to see my videos, I put most of them on vimeo not youtube.  That was probably a mistake since everyone goes to youtube, but the quality is better on vimeo.

Kate R.: their concentration and obvious “enchantment” with the activity is priceless! (mopping the floor) You thought of selling used cars?

Just taking a page from Tom Sawyer’s book and making work seem like play… 😉

Della: You’re getting a lot of eggs for this time of year. Do you use a light in the coop?

Yes.  It’s the only source of heat I have for them, so it also encourages more laying.

Paul: I’ve been thinking, on our Iowa farm we had 10-12 cows,in the winter we had a tank heater in the stock tank in the barn yard for them. If a rancher has several hundred or a thousand cows on pasture,how do you keep water for them? or do they just eat snow-

We have miles and miles of pipeline with water tanks while they’re in the hills, which we have to chop ice out of daily.  Ditto with the creek while we have them home in the fields.  For the little heifers in the corral, we definitely have tank heaters in those.  Some people let their cows eat snow… and they seem to do alright, but we prefer live water for them.

Gina: When I was out in Wyoming the air was so dry and I had a terrible time with dry skin. How do you deal with that? Do you have some special lotion?

Dry skin is just part of the “fun” of living in Wyoming.  I buy all different kinds of lotion… I think I have a bottle in just about every room in my house!  I haven’t found the perfect one yet though…

Barbara: I’m wondering what kind of camera you use. It takes beautiful pictures. Have you taken photography classes?

I have a big Olympus E-500 and my small Canon Powershot.  I always have the little one with me, so most of the pictures are from it.  I took a photography class way back when at Casper College… but I was a camera addict even before that!  I received a 35 mm for high school graduation since I liked it so much.  Back when we had to pay for film and processing… remember?

Bert: Brings to mind the question of how your cattle fare with regard to predation; cougars, wolves, coyotes, bears and their ilk?

Thank God we don’t have a problem with predators like grizzlies, wolves, and mountain lions!  We’re very lucky we don’t have to deal with them like ranchers in western Wyoming do.  We have coyotes, but they don’t bother us very much, so we leave them alone.  There is a mountain lion license and many are harvested around here.  The Big Horn Mountains seem to be prime country for kitty cats and there are obviously quite a few around.

Joanne: When branding time is here how do you decide what to cook for meals? Does some food have to travel to the branding site or do you brand nearer your home? Will the weather (warm or cold ) make a difference to what you chose to cook?

I keep track of what we have served at brandings… how much food I bought, how many people we fed… Since we have two brandings, one is a bigger day and I have much more food with that one.  We brand not too far from my house, so we come to the house to eat, which makes it an easy peasy day, compared to hauling it all up the mountain like we did in the “old days”!  I may have hot coffee available if the day is cool… but most people have been working hard, so cool days are nice to brand on!

Darrell: Hi Carol, Have you ever encountered a Mountain Lion on your property or one of your cattle drives? As these are considered predators to your ranch livestock, is it legal to shoot them? Have any of your dogs had encounters while out?

I caught the glimpse of the tail of one heading into the sagebrush in my headlights is all I’ve ever seen.  Three were killed at my next door neighbors’ as the lions were staying in their kids’ playhouse and garage (yes, attached to their HOUSE!)… Lots of my friends have seen one, but I haven’t.  Licenses are available for mountain lions.  My dogs haven’t met one, thank goodness, since they would probably not survive an encounter.

Joan: Do you have to worry about predation with the chickens? Do they realize that it’s best to get into the coop at night?

Yes.  I’ve been 10 feet from a chicken when a hawk flew down to get it!  That was a shock!  I accept that I will lose chickens in order for them to free range.  Chickens don’t have real big brains, but if they can, they do return to the coop every night… barring snow…

Theresa: The historic cabin photos you’ve shared – about how far away from your home do you think these were located? Did your family build cabins near these old homesites?

I know where most of them are, and there are many remains of old cabins scattered all over this country.  There were many more people in this country back then.  Ranches that have continued usually have an old cabin made into chicken coops or storage sheds now.

Sandy: Are you all having a more snowy winter than normal?

Well, more than the past few years, but about as much as we did when I first came here.  Weather is pretty cyclical if you track it long enough!

Thanks for all the great questions!



Questions and Answers – February 2017 Edition — 11 Comments

  1. I hate the feel of lotion, so rarely use it. Here in Idaho though, I’ve had some very rough fingers from dry air. My sister has some “Working Hands” that works better than anything I’ve tried, though admittedly I haven’t tried much. I occasionally use it when going to bed and it softens them for days. If I used it more often, I think it would soften them entirely.

  2. Carol, is John still keeping weather records for the National Weather Service? (I think that’s what it’s called.) As I recall, he has done so for many years.

  3. Thanks for all the answers. The questions were very interesting…esp. about the mountain lions. I hope your whole family never has one on their property.

  4. Thank you for all the answers, I love to learn about the ranching way of life, my favorite places to travel are off the interstate & on the more rural roads of the good old USA!!

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