Tag Archives: cows

Wordless Wednesday: Working Hard or Hardly Working? 

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Wordless Wednesday: Cows in the Mist

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Giveaway: “Vintage” Poster

I love a good giveaway! Especially when it means I get something!

I had a nail in one of the tires on my truck, so while waiting for the nice people over at Les Schwab to fix it for me, I accidentally did some shopping.

I found the coolest posters! I had to buy them! Since I don’t have room in my house for all three, I’m doing a giveaway!!! Two of these are going to be adorable framed in my office, one is going to be adorable somewhere in your home!

This giveaway is for one of these posters! You pick!

 

Cows!

Cows!

OR

Canning!

Canning!

OR

Cameras!

Cameras!

 

I will select a winner next Tuesday, July 10, 2014, using random.org. Just leave me a comment below!!

Good luck!

 

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Ag Hag

http://shannonrosan.com/

http://shannonrosan.com/

 

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The Great Drought of 2013

EDIT: January 15, 2014

We’ve had no rain since my original post. We are basically out of hay and grass. We’ve purchased more supplement’s. Today was the first day my Dad mentioned selling some cattle. I want to cry. California Cattlepeople need help. Hay is sky high, if you can find it, the grass is gone and the weather forecast is not good. This is really scary and sad. 

 

2013 was a rough year for many cattlepeople, and we here the Brown Ranch are no different. While our ranch did not have it as bad as the ranchers in South Dakota, we struggled with a pasteurella outbreak in the spring, pink eye over the summer and finally our year is ending with extreme drought, which means, no grass to feed our cattle.

In my lifetime on this ranch, I have never seen it this dry. I have never seen the lack of feed. My Dad says the same. This year will be a make or break year for many cattlepeople, it is incredibly distressing.

In my lifetime on this ranch, I have never seen it this dry. I have never seen the lack of feed. My Dad says the same. This year will be a make or break year for many cattlepeople, it is incredibly distressing.

My family has taught me that in order to be good at what what we do, we need to have a contingency plan for everything that could go wrong. Life in agriculture is never boring, it’s never easy and Lord knows, it is anything but simple. Since my family has had generations and generations to learn this lesson, our ranch will survive.

My Dad, loading the truck. Since we left most of our crop of hay on the Mound Ranch,  we must drive two hours with this truck and trailer, load hay, drive home again, and load that hay into the truck to feed to cattle. Driving to The Mound Ranch is done about every four to five days and feeding the cattle is done every other day, sometimes everyday.

My Dad, loading the truck. Since we left most of our crop of hay on the Mound Ranch, we must drive two hours with this truck and trailer, load hay, drive home again, and load that hay into the truck to fed to the cattle. Driving to The Mound Ranch is done about every four to five days and feeding the cattle is done every other day, sometimes everyday.

Even though we had no idea that this year would be so severe in terms of rain and feed, we planned for it, because we  must. As I explained before, our cattle spend half the year on Table Mountain Ranch and the other half on The Mound Ranch. If you want to know more details about why we do that please read this. When we shipped our cattle to The Mound Ranch this past spring, we made sure to leave lots of grass or “feed” for the cattle to come back to. Again, this “feed” is not guaranteed to even be here when we ship our cattle back in the fall because often, we have fires here in the summer.

The view of our hay field.

The view of our hay field on The Mound Ranch.

In addition to leaving feed on the winter ranch to come back to, another thing we do, as a contingency (what if we have a fire??), is make hay. In a good feed year, we can sell any extra hay for income. In a bad feed year, like this year, we use the hay to supplement our cattle. Since the grass has not grown, our girls must eat the dry grass from last year. But that dry grass can only last so long, and it doesn’t have the same nutrients as fresh, green grass.

The girls know the feed truck and will race us to the feed area. Stampede!

The girls know the feed truck and will race us to the feed area. Stampede!

When we feed someone has to stand in the back of the moving truck, while using a knife to cut twine, and throw flakes off, all while collecting that twine, not falling off and getting licked by cows. It's not easy, and often scary.

When we feed, someone has to stand in the back of the moving truck, on bales of hay, while using a knife to cut twine, and throw flakes off, all while collecting that twine, not falling off and getting licked by cows. It’s not easy, and often scary.

Dad and his cattle. He can tell you about every single cow and calf here, who their Mom is, how he feels about them, their temperament, anything - it's neat.

Dad and his cattle. He can tell you about every single cow and calf here, who their Mom is, how he feels about them, their temperament, anything – it’s neat.

Feeding is truly a family affair. Mom drove so I could take pictures with my new Christmas camera.

Feeding is truly a family affair. Mom drove so I could take pictures with my new Christmas camera.

By supplementing our cattle’s diet with hay, they will continue to be happy and healthy. Our number one goal on this ranch is the health and comfort of our animals. We do not want them to feel any type of stress, by making sure they don’t realize we are having a poor feed year, we prevent a whole list of health problems; from aborted calves to illnesses and death.

Supplements.

Supplements (also look how sad the grass is, kinda makes a girl wanna cry).

Yet another tool we use to ensure the health and happiness of our cattle are supplements. Our cattle always have access to mineral salt, it is necessary for their survival. However, during lean years when there is not new grass growth, they also get a protein supplement. When cattle eat dried out grass, with no new green grass, they must have a protein supplement to maintain their health (in our opinion). I know this is a horrible thing for me to admit to, but, I love these supplements because I up-cycle the blue tubs, they are the perfect size to plant dwarf trees in!!!

Happy, hay-fed, supplement given, grass left for, Brown Ranch cows.

Happy, hay-fed, supplement given, grass left for, Brown Ranch cows.

There are many, many, many, different supplements on the market for cattle. In the past we’ve used Crystalyx, and other local companies. Right now we are using a generic 24% protein supplement, since we are feeding hay as well.

We are really in some serious trouble.

We are really in some serious trouble.

I know those of us in agriculture are famous for never being happy with the weather. It’s always too wet, too dry, too cloudy, too sunny. But this is serious, cattlepeople in the west are facing some very tough times right now. Hay is expensive, if you can find it, extra rangeland is impossible to find, and the weather refuses to compromise. I am afraid for many of my neighbors and friends. Hope for rain my friends.

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Wordless Wednesday: My View

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Wordless Wednesday; It’s Cold

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Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media, recognizing the people and organizations producing real-time short form content on across Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Foursquare, and the rest of the social Web.”

http://shortyawards.com/MegRaeB

Oh, the Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain” is playing in my head right now. But I can’t help but notice the Shorty Award’s Food category doesn’t have a lot of multi-generational Cattle Ranchers nominated. Want to change that? I do! I can’t help it, but I DO! Here we have yet another, shameless attempt to promote myself. It’s hard!!!! I’m doing it anyway (I might have had a glass of wine in order to write this post, maybe, probably, maybe). Anyway vote for ME! http://shortyawards.com/MegRaeB

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Keep Calm

http://www.etsy.com/

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My “Factory Farm”

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Our summer ranch. The oats I planted and farmed with no sprays, and a damn good dog.

The view of the summer ranch from the house.

Deer that live on the summer ranch.

My Dad making meadow hay with the same tractor as his Dad, on the summer ranch.

Winter ranch.

Wild turkeys on the winter ranch.

View of the winter ranch from above the tracks.

The cattle truck we use to move the cattle in between the two ranches. The cattle spend the summer in the mountains and the winter in the valley. That way they get two springs, avoid the valley summer heat and the mountain winter snow. And our ground gets break from the cattle – it’s empty 6 months out of the year.

Hoot dog moving the cows on the winter range.

The Sutter Buttes from the winter ranch.

Fire bellied newt on the winter ranch.

Poppies! Winter ranch.

Winter ranch.

View from my front door.

Factory farmed  babies on the winter ranch.

The boys.

Home.

The view from most of my childhood.

Bottle calf meeting the horses.

Behind the winter ranch. The view from the waterfall.

The summer ranch.

The winter ranch.

The snake that lives in my yard.

The winter ranch, see the bald eagle in the tree?

Winter ranch.

Winter Ranch, spring time. The field that was an airport during WWII.

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