Bull Power

Some of the chores Patty and I get assigned to around here can be fraught with danger and excitement.

We had been pushing/walking the herd into the home field until these two yahoos decided to go at it. That was my que to back up the buggy and wait and watch at a distance ’til they worked it out or wore themselves out. My hard workin’ Patty though, still tried to do her best to keep them moving along.

The reason she and I had the job of moving critters today was to get those bad boys close to the sorting pen so they can be loaded up and taken to market. It’s time for them to go down the road after a few good years of fathering a number of great calves. A bull’s productive life on our ranch runs an average of five years. They have a good life with us…well-fed, pampered and never given too many “girls” to over-work themselves. Their “working” season runs from July to September. Otherwise they only have to graze, rest and sun themselves under the great big beautiful Alberta sky. Trouble is, when they get to the end of their years with us, they seem to get cranky and pick fights all too easily with each other.

And now the day has come to say farewell to these two…it’s definitely time…they’ve crashed through a pen and tore up a fence in recent days. I’m quite ready to say good-bye.

Although I say that now, when it comes to loading them onto that trailer, I know I’ll be a bit sad. I always am whenever my animals are taken from the yard for the last time.

The Search Is On

Woke up to a gray, cool windy autumn day. “Perfect!” I’m thinking. I can finally get at the farm books!!! Got the kitchen table all set up, the coffee on and before I settled into anything, being the responsible rancher wife that I am……I headed out to the fields to check on our bulls and a few cows and the horses who are all on the home quarters here with me.
Gasp….all I found were the horses and two bulls in the field where they are ALL supposed to be. That would be 11 bulls, two cows, two heifers and two calves.

Oh lookee here! A broken down fenceline on one side of the field!

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and a decimated/demolished gate on the other side!

So I take to the search on my quad through our other fields and can’t find them until the farthest field – the one we brought them out of many weeks ago. Most of them are all back there peacefully sitting together by the slough just happy as can be. But by my count…not everyone is here!

 

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Back to the search to find, in yet another field, pacing the fenceline, on the wrong side of the fence, a lonely bull, one of our newest ones, anxious to find his buddies and brothers.

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Patched up the holes as best I could with my trusty wire stretchers, hammer and staples…locked up the critters where I can find them….and….the morning is gone! Is it any wonder why then, that the farm books generally end up getting done into the midnight hours?

Girl Power

What do two cowgirls do on a roundtrip tour on the Alberta highways to pick up bulls , load ’em up and head on home within 9 hours of traffic, torrential rains, glorious Alberta sunny skies?

Why…..we turn off that big old highway..park the bulls….and find ourselves some ice cream!!!!!

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Today Flicka Rancher and her favourite, one and only, ever-so-helpful step-daughter Shelby had the privilege of picking up three of our bulls at one of our pastures….4 hours away and along with help from Carol (the Mrs owner of the pasture out there-her hubby out haying) we loaded up those three big boys, turned around and came home to finish off our 9.0 hour truckin’ shift.
Got some more REAL practice backing up the trailer again, gets a wee bit “easier” every time. The REAL practice makes the learning so much more meaningful.
Thinking I might just volunteer for that one again!!! I like the ice cream part!!!

Photo Challenge – Morning – Day Three

I elected to use the Photo Challenge – Morning more as a “Morning Story” for Day three. Today…we check pastures and for sure that means we treat cows and calves. We have come across some incidents of foot rot more so this very moist year and so we need to get going early in the morning!!!

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So, my job is to corral the animals that hubby brings in on horseback. I wait by the corrals in the very abundant grass and weed growth pacing back and forth to capture these critters…..this groundwork can get wet!!! I need to aspire to the horseback position!

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We have fairly rudimentary corrals out in the pasture for this type of thing but it’s certainly a step-up from just roping a sick animal and tying her to a tree. Our old chute system from the home corrals has retired to the north pasture.

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The cows come in nice and peaceful

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But the bulls have to show up in “wrestle-mode”. Always has to be drama with these fellas .

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However
I got ’em corralled

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Our morning story.  In our pasture, almost an hour away, we rounded up and treated three cows and one calf and loaded up two rascally bulls for home all before noon.