view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Things Learned on the Feed Ground

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"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Things Learned on the Feed Ground

While I am not a full time stay at home mom, I am proud to say that my boys do not spend much time with outside child care.  Most days we take our boys with while working on the ranch.  The Cow Boss and I juggle our schedules so that one of us can be with the boys nearly all times.  I'm not going to say I never have a babysitter, there are times we can't take the boys to work with us.  If we have 2 or 3 big days coming up and my mom isn't busy we will send the boys to my parents ranch (100 miles away) for that time, and I have a handful of good friends I can lean on if needed.  We feel that it is our job to raise our kids.  Not their teachers, daycare, or other child care.

The boys and I have been on the feed crew for about 3 weeks now.  The novelty has kind of worn off.  Instead of excitement to get their coats and hats to go feed, they are now dragging their feet and asking why they have to, and "can't dad do it by himself?" 

I've been trying to explain the boys are hungry when they wake up in the morning and I always give them breakfast.  It's our job to make sure someone gives them breakfast too.  I do admit it is hard to have to feed hay when there is no snow on the ground.  We can see grass, and we know that cows eat grass.  It is pretty hard to explain to a 3 and 5 year old that even though they can see grass, why we need to be giving cows hay on top of it.
While feeding the other morning we were having our usual why are we feeding cows if there is grass on the ground conversation.  We were driving through a normally swampy are a with slew grass.  That coarse thick grass that grows really well in boggy areas that cows don't like to eat.  TR said "Look at all this grass.  These cows should be eating this grass and not hay."  I told him that it wasn't the kind of grass that cows like to eat.  He asked me "What kind of grass is it?"  I began to explain that is was "slew" grass.  "Well, why don't they eat it?"  Not knowing for sure I told him that it wasn't palatable, meaning it didn't taste good to the cows.  QT asked "If it is slew grass, why isn't it slewing?"  Kind of made me chuckle.  I should have asked him how grass slewed I guess!

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