(Sorry, this post was supposed to go out last week, but the family got the stomach bug and I failed to get it finished and posted.) This morning we woke up to find that it had rained. It made an icy, muddy mess. But the chores need done no matter what. I thought today I would walk you through the normal routine that I do each morning.
First off, I start by feeding the corral by my house. After that I pitch hay to the bulls. I just use the pickup with the flatbed. I load it with hay and pitch it to the bulls then take some to the Big Trails cows. These are both small bunches so there it doesn’t take a lot of time or hay. They know what the pickup driving in means so they always come to meet me in the morning.
After they have been taken care of, I head to the home place where there are some small heifer calves waiting. They are smaller than the other heifers so they are getting supplemented with some corn to help get them up to weight for breeding this spring. Most of their diet still comes from hay, but the extra protein and energy are enough to pack on a few extra pounds.
I then check the water for the young cows and then the first calf heifers. Both groups of cattle water out of the river. This means we have to chop the ice every day so they can drink. You can see in the photo on the left that the warm weather had pretty well opened up the creek for me at one of the water holes, but since then the colder temperatures have frozen the ice several inches think clear across where this picture was taken. Once the water has been opened for the cows, I pitch up hay for the small heifer calves and this brings an end to the chores on a normal day. I check the mineral and salt as I go so I can refill it when they run out.
While I’m doing this Dad and Daniel are feeding most of the cows with our two hay feeders. Those two feeders save us a lot of labor because they keep us from having to have someone drive and someone else pitch. They can feed quite a few cows by themselves with relative ease.
This has been the routine for the past several weeks, but it’s about to change. We are quickly approaching calving season so we will bring the first calf heifers up around the calving shed and start checking on them and the cows throughout the day and night to make sure they are doing fine.
I hope you have been staying warm and avoiding all the illnesses that seem to come around this time of year.
by Brandon Greet