Fancy Fella

When this guy was born back on May 10, 2018, he sure caught my eye. Such a showy fella with his perfectly goggled right eye, his four shiny white socks and white-tipped-tail.

He got a name right away – Fabian – and I decided I would keep my eye on him as long as he was with us from the yard to the pasture and beyond. Because they don’t stay with us long, I rarely name the steer calves, but how could I not?

He grew up big and strong and so I know he ended up in the heavier group of steer calves that we sent to market. I watched that sale on my computer that night and although I noted who the buyer was it remains a mystery what feedlot he was taken to.

When I get caught up with my new set of winter chores and the farm books for year end, it is my intention to do the background work and research and find out where my big handsome Fabian is living, feeding and growing now. Wish me good luck!

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.

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Hard to believe but for all intents and purposes our “calving season/calving capers” has wound down to this handful of faithful cows due any day now. We don’t need to check on them every two hours as had been the case during the beginning weeks of our adventures. We are content now to let these girls do it on their own. After all, they’ve done so successfully for many years now.

I did however have a little short-lived excitement this week when hubby brought in Dilbert from the field. From the slough actually, which is where he had been lying in. He couldn’t stand up and his mother was certainly not able to assist.

Dilbert has been “slow” from the start. He is “different”. He has small eyes and big dumbo-elephant-like ears and it took quite awhile before he took to naturally feeding from his momma. We’re not sure what set him back on this day to be stuck in the slough but whatever the reason, I was ready with the bottle and nursette and ultimately to be his caregiver. There hasn’t been a year yet that I haven’t had some little character to fuss over.

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But this episode turned out to be short-lived. I guess it was my few hours of TLC that encouraged him there was hope to carry on. By the end of the day he was standing on his own and able to navigate, albeit unsteadily, around the pen. By morning, I was out of a job and he was happily reunited with his momma…health returned.

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Thankfully, hubby agrees that we should keep Dilbert and his mom close to home this year instead of the pasture. After all, he’s a little bit slow and he just might need me yet!

 

 

 

Calving Capers

And finally, my final assignment in Blogging 101. I can hardly believe I stuck to it! I am prone to be a great starter of “things” and not always a “finisher” of same so feeling pretty confident now and full of focus.

The final assignment is to create a feature for my blog – something for my readers to return to and to expect on a consistent and repeatable basis. Well, what is more repeatable and consistent on a ranch than calving season! It also happens to be one of our most favorite as well as challenging times of the year…loaded with adventures and story after story begging to be told.

At the same time I’ll be able to keep my calf inventory count absolutely current and up to date on an almost daily basis….something unheard of in my normally “let’s catch-up now” world. [Keep an eye on my side bar over the next few months.]

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Our official calving season commences mid-March this year. My feature – Calving Capers will appear every Thursday to satisfy my earlier promise to devote Thursdays to blogging. Look for the first episode of my feature on Thursday, February 4, 2016.

Variety Pack

It was a Flicka Rancher kind of day today. In between the laundry….

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I helped pull 16Z’s calf with Cowboy Husband [mom and calf look like each other!]….

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mended the fence line….

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watched over two calving cows while Cowboy went to town for his eye appointment. Of course they start to calve when he drives out of the yard!

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So happy to have them successfully deliver on my watch.

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Back to do a little more fencing…

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And so, like many other Flicka Rancher days….supper didn’t happen!

Gentle Assist

The hardest part of calving is after-calving. It’s the days, weeks and months ahead whereby we work to keep the little critters alive, safe from predators, free from disease and well-fed and nurtured. Most of the time the calves jump up a few minutes after birth and head right to their mother’s teats and begin to suck. That first drink, and hopefully  that happens within the first hour, sets the tone for the health and ability to thrive for the young one going forward.

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On occasion though we have a challenge. This fella from 8U cow is blind. He had a hard birthing experience which may have affected his vision or it may just be his fate. But for these first days he needs a little gentle assist from us to find those precious vessels where he can access his mother’s milk. Eventually we expect he will be able to sniff her out and do this all on his own. We sure will keep this pair close to home. For now, we’re quite willing and able to help him along.

Of course, any animal that gets this kind of special attention gets his own name. I call him Ugo.

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Snowflake

There just seems to be no time nor energy by day’s end to sit down at the computer and write to my blog during this challenging calving season. Snowflake came up to greet me today though,

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as if to remind me that “Hey Girl! Use your mobile app and show your friends and followers how well I’m growing!!”