A Trucker’s Wife

The primary “thing” that makes me “Flicka Rancher” is that I’m the one responsible for the chores when trucker hubby heads out of the yard. Being married to a rancher /long haul trucker means being on my own lots and lots and ultimately here alone to take care of our ranch and all the animals.

I’ve had to learn alot of things “on the fly” and via frantic phone calls or texts to the trucker on the road. Not always the best way to learn things but when do we ever have the ideal environment in this event called “life” and in particular “life on a ranch”?

So, my blog story will be short today as I just wanted to share one of my favorite sights in the whole wide world.

Seeing him drive safe and sound into our yard after a long week away through blizzards and icy roads.

P.S. I guess it’s not so bad being on my own over the past challenging days when trucker hubby brings me treats “from the road”!! This is a favorite sight too …. and tasty!!

Tough Little Guy

We had some calves born later than the rest to mom cows we thought were “open”. Hah…well, the joke was on us! Happily,  they all calved on their own in the pasture and raised some sturdy little critters.  These young’ns have had to endure some awfully nasty wintery days since the white season hit us and I do mean “hit us”!

One fella in particular has touched my heart and even the hubby’s…so we will plan to keep him as a bull. As soon as he was born I knew I wanted to call him Joey. So now when he grows up big and bold here on the farm – he will then be called Big Joe.              

I see by his heavy hair coat here, Mother Nature has provided the way for him to tolerate this frigid and challenging winter season. Another way he kept warm was to cuddle in amongst the huddling cows as they do during a blizzard. He would have been snug as a bug in the middle of that group in the picture above.

Not to fear Joey…the balmy days of spring and summer are soon here!!

My Farm Is My Gym

In a single day of chores I have put in squats, stretches, quad work, climbing, lifting weights and a whole lot of cardio from walking, walking and more walking. And the best part? A whole bunch of fresh air!

My workout equipment!

The second-best part? I get to have my dogs accompany me everywhere…and they do accompany me everywhere I go.

Heading out to move cows to next field.

So really, what dark, noisy, sweaty old ( or even bright and new) gym can offer all that?

The best gym mates ever!

If it weren’t for these lovely ladies and the rest of the herd I suppose I’d have to take up housework!

I do love my job!❤

Leader Of The Pack

I wrote about Delia awhile back here on my blog…March 13, 2019 “No Sale”. She was the one lone cow we brought back home after our herd dispersal and since coming up “open” that year, she has definitely earned her keep. She produces a calf consistently for us now, her last calf (born 2021) we have kept as a bull.

But more than all that, Delia continues to charm us just being the character she is. As my title suggests, she is always the gal at the front of the line, leading the pack.

Or first one waiting at the gate to come in for pellets or water…there she is at the front of the line. Or at the feed trough, there she is…placing herself in the same spot of the first trough at the front end of the trough.

Or how about when we come into the field in the side by side with pellets…she’s not only the first one to follow or greet us…she practically hops in for the ride!

Needless to say, she keeps us entertained and amused. We look forward to many more years with our delightful, double-tagged Delia.

Been Gone Too Long

I see ( and I knew without looking) that it has been almost a year since I last posted to my blog. That’s not good. This is my diary of sorts…my journal of farming activities…the part of my life that defines who I am to the core. Why would I abandon this?

Exactly…..I won’t abandon this. We’ll just say I have been on a sabbatical from “blogging” for a few months (whereby I have been anything but sabbaticall-ing….what does that term mean anyway?)

Sabbatical means a “paid leave”….hah-hah….guess we can’t call my blogging absence a sabbatical then as I’ve been anything but “paid”!

Suffice it to say…I am back to my blog. Sabbatical is “over”.

Succession

My post will be short and sweet today because what could be better than letting pictures tell the story – so much better than words sometimes.

We couldn’t wait to suit up our granddaughter in her chore-clothes-birthday-present from us and put her to work! It’s all about having a succession plan…..🥰🧡

And so the day begins…

Let’s start with a little lesson in chore-girl-fashion from Grandma.
…along with some cow-whispering lessons from Grandpa.
Learning from the master
Lovin’ on the baby calves
“…don’t worry Grandma – I got this!”
Day of chores + fresh air = great appetite.

What a great way to start April 2021 on Berg Farm & Ranch!😊

It Starts Here

After last week’s post, it occurred to me that between myself and my husband and others like us in the cow-calf and cattle-hauling industry….well, we’re at the base – the foundation (as opposed to “the bottom”] of the food cycle. The cycle that brings your food from farm to plate.

We raise cattle and keep them fed on grass and fresh water. We watch over the good will and nutrition of our breeding herd so they in turn bring forth healthy, thriving calves which later a cattle-hauler like my trucker-hubby loads up and takes on to a feed-lot….. so the cycle can go on and on.

I feel very privileged and honored to be a steward of this lifestyle…even on these cold, wintery challenging days. To be responsible for the well-being of these precious animals that in turn contribute to providing one of the most efficient and high-quality proteins around.

And so we tend to pamper our herd. Pampering – means keeping the feeders full, refreshing the straw bedding after a snowfall, vaccinating against disease and maintaining a watchful eye over all for any changes in behavior or signs of discomfort. I guess, in the end this isn’t necessarily “pampering”….just good management and we take a wee bit of pride in being part of the process to bring healthy and nutritious food to your plate.

A big cozy straw bed sheltered by trees and a wall of bales for sleeping comfort.

Sometimes…A Little Help

There are times during calving season- actually many times – when the rancher has to step in and help Mother Nature along.

For instance, sometimes we have to teach the calf to latch on to momma’s teat, especially if she has a “big bag and big teats” that might be too much for the little gaffer to figure out on his own. But once he/she gets that first satisfying “pull” – well, there’s no turning back – off to the races and good health! That all important first suck from mom is the key to establishing a good dose of immunity against the hazards ahead.

That first “dose” is called colostrum and if a newborn calf hasn’t received this natural elixir within its first few hours of life, his/her chances for thriving dwindle fast.

We like to have this colostrum stored as a backup if we’re ever in a position where a calf is just too weak to even be coaxed to suck. I thought it might make an interesting story for the blog to share this all-important process and task that we undertake from time to time when we have a cow with an abundance of milk to share and store like good old Flopsie provided for us this year.

Husby steps up for the extracting task (after all, he grew up with dairy cows). I step up for the cleaning and storing task. We all have our roles.

I like to strain the raw milk from the natural blah that comes from milking the cow out in the corral.
I like to label who the colostrum came from and when and then it all goes to the freezer. I have a feeling not many folks bother doing that – but, it’s important to me.

Finally, our dear cats get the residual, a rich yummy treat…we all have our roles!

No waste!

I Bid I Bought

I had the neatest experience back in early March (before Covid 19 took over our daily lives) and came away from it without one picture!!! Further reason, methinks, to invest in that go-pro camera to document my daily adventures that beg to be blogged and/or “vlogged”. What had happened, back in March, was that I attended a bull sale/live auction at a local ranch by myself and bought us a bull! I have attended many bull sales and cattle auctions but always alongside the hubby and he did all that bidding stuff and chinwagging and strolling around the pens before and after the sale. But when the bull we want is for sale, and the hubby is away trucking, well…I get to stretch my wings and head out to buy a bull. By the time I got done my chores that day, showered and changed (because these are quite the social affairs!) and drove myself through the muddy country roads to the ranch …I had missed the homemade lunch but was in time to register for my buyer’s number….my first and only very own buyer’s number! #75…going to laminate this and keep it in my 2020 record book for sweet memories. wp-15876954062393643989114538353298.jpg I found some acquaintances in the stands once I made my way through the stands…never comfortable walking into a show and sale ring when the sale is going on and you’re right there in front of everybody bidding on the bulls in the ring. But when you see some familiar faces ahead you stride forward and plant yourself alongside. Thankfully I arrived well before the bull we wanted came through the ring and I got to watch the strategy and routine with the auctioneer and the ringmen watching us buyers in the stands. The key is eye contact…yes, indeed…as soon as that auctioneer caught my eye when our bull came in he was my best friend!! It happened so fast but all of a sudden after just three nods from me we had our bull … for $500 below the upper limit we had set…woohoo! I think I could do this again! Heady stuff!! So I share this wordy story now mostly for my own personal memory and recollection of this unique time for me, but ultimately to record that it was this week that we had our bull delivered to our place – in the most socially distanced way we could.  And I finally got my picture of me and the bull I purchased all by myself with my #75. wp-15876954810174659318883531627947.jpg