view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: Processing Yearlings, Kids, Finals, Buying Cows, and Failed Cinnamon Rolls!

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Processing Yearlings, Kids, Finals, Buying Cows, and Failed Cinnamon Rolls!

Friends, I am so glad last week is over!  It could have been a week from hell, if the weather wasn't so nice.  I have the sun burn to prove it!

We started out Monday processing yearlings.  We receive yearlings out of California, and then arrive in the middle of the night.  So first thing the next morning we have to process them.  We have to catch EVERY.  SINGLE.  ONE..... We weigh them, sort by weight, vaccinate with an 8-Way vaccine (it's a clostridial vaccine that protects against Blackleg, Malignant Edema, Sudden Death Syndrome, Redwater, Black's Disease, and types B, C and D Enterotoxemia.), Fusiguard (which helps prevent foot rot, this is extremely important for the yearlings here on irrigated pasture), an inject-able wormer for parasite control, and Vira-Shield for the breeder heifers (to protect against respiratory and reproductive diseases).  We also retag every animal with a fly tag and a color coordinated tag by weight. This year's heifers haven't been very healthy, so already we are doctoring bad eyes.  As dry as it is in California, these yearlings have been picking up cheat grass seeds in their eyes.  Left untreated, it turns into an infection which can result in the loss of the eye.

We are pretty spoiled here, and generally on days we process or do any type of chute work the "Donut Guy" as the boys call him brings a box of donuts for the crew.  We stop around 8:30 or 9 for donuts and a break.  I knew the Donut Guy wouldn't be coming Monday, so I tried to make cinnamon rolls.  Note I said try?  I failed miserably.  I followed the recipe to a T and thought I did everything right and they were a nasty, doughy, gooey mess.  I didn't cook \them long enough.  My oven is kind of challenging, and if you put a pan in too close to the side it will burn.  Long story short, they were nearly burned on the edges and raw dough in the middle.  I did a little better on the lunch I made, and then had to hurry to town to get to class on time.

Tuesday we drove to Nampa, Idaho to watch a track meet.  Baisically we sat in the pickup 5 hours to watch paint dry for 2 hours, to turn around and sit in the pickup for another 5 hours.  Super long day.

Wednesday we went through the entire processing procedure again.  This time my animal science class came to spend the day with us as a lab assignment.  It was fun, I have a great group of students who I really enjoy.  We cheated on lunch since I was gone all day Tuesday and we bbq'd Chorizos and Hot Dogs.  I did wake up early and make some peanut butter bars though.

Thursday we gathered and took possession of our new heifers, which took all afternoon.  We had to go to the neighbors where they were, trail them a couple of miles to some corrals to load out of, then make 4 trailer trips to get them home to us.

Friday morning was the best day all week.  I have a new babysitter for the boys.  Her name is Ash-a-leeeee (as QT says it).  She is a ranch girl and awesome with the boys.  She came to hang out with the boys and I got to go and doctor yearlings.  She is awesome.  When we got home she was in the back yard with the boys fighting bad guys, killing dragons, and being the princess for my little knights.

We are still dealing with bad eyes and some footrot that we missed chute side (kind of hard to see foot rot in a chute!).  I rode my favorite horse Cricket.  I love that horse.  I haven't been riding much since last fall, and the best thing about him is he is always right where you left him, and almost always acts like you just rode him the day before.  He loves doctoring yearlings.  The minute you take your rope down he sets his mind to roping, and he runs to cattle.  You get him locked on a yearling and you just have to hold on and swing your rope.  He transitions really good from heading to heeling too (way better than me).  I'm not very comfortable necking yearlings.  Their size intimidates me, so I usually just haze (keep the  yearling going the right direction) for the Cow Boss.  Then if he misses, which isn't very often, when he slows up I run ahead of him and trade places so I can take a shot.  I necked 3 of the 5 yearlings we doctored and never missed a head loop.  It made me so happy, I usually miss 10 before I catch one.  It felt so good to rope well and ride my favorite horse.

Saturday we did the whole processing thing again and it took all day.  I made cinnamon rolls again and they turned out so much better!

For Mother's Day, we branded and processed our personal heifers and turned them out to breed.  We will be putting a bull in with them next week.  We helped a friend brand his 6 Corriente calves, and hauled out some cows.  If anyone ever invites you to help brand little Corriente calves, decline, make up an excuse, be sick.  When they are little (like 45 pounds), it is like trying to rope a jack rabbit!

The Cow Boss did good for Mother's Day (other than scheduling me a full day of work that is)!  He had our friend Andy Stevens make me this beautiful cantle concho for my saddle.  Andy also built my saddle.  He carved Columbine flowers on the skirts, and put one on the concho also.  

For my installment of Meat Eater Monday, I want to share with you my favorite BBQ recipe.  I got it from my mom and it is excellent on chicken and pork.  I did pork ribs and I intended to grill them but was out of propane, so I used my broiler instead.

BBQ Sauce:

1/4 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. cooking oil
3/4 c. catsup
1/3. c. vinegar
1 tsp. grated lemon plus 1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot Sauce)
Cook onion and garlic in oil till tender, but not brown.  Stir in remaining ingredients, and simmer covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season your ribs and place bone side down on medium hot coals for about 25 minutes, turn and grill until done.  Brush with sauce often the last 10 minutes of cooking.

I hope everyone had a wonderful week last week and is looking forward to the week to come!


  1. We branded yesterday too! It was a long day, did about 125 calves. Then we do the other half in a couple of weeks.

    1. We did 6, and it was miserable. Dang calves are so little and fast, really hard to neck them! Would have prefered 125 soggy calves! =)

  2. branding done here. Bulls turned out. Had to rescue a 'little' angus bull with a nasty cut on his leg. Angus bulls are like hippos when theres water near by. But we did rope him in the lake and drag his butt outta there. Got him treated. You guys must be close to my neck of the woods? We live in eastern wa. Cheat grass and eyes are nasty. So is tall wheat grass. Have a good day. :)

    1. We are in Northeastern Nevada, and our yearlings come out of California. We haven't started branding our ranch calves yet, but have helped a couple of neighbors. We are ready to start branding here!