view sourceprint? 01 Ramblings from a Ranch Wife: April 2011

Random Thought:

"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars"

Friday, April 22, 2011

On Second Thought, Who Needs A Milk Cow Anyway!

I've been after the Cow Boss to get me a milk cow for a couple of years now.  I don't want to have to milk the cow.  I want him to.  I figure when you are going through 4-5 gallons of milk a week, and milk cow would be pretty dang handy.  I have it all figured out too.  Every summer we have a handful of leppys that we are feeding, so why not let the milk cow do it for us.  Now, I do know that 1 milk cow can't feed her calf plus 4 more by herself.  But we could rotate them through and supplement with milk pellets and milk replacer.  Then every other day or so we could milk her for ourselves.  Just imagine the yummy treats I could make with fresh milk!  I'm thinking cheese, cream pies, ice cream, you name it!  Things that I don't make very often because I'm usually out of milk.  Not to mention the money we would save on milk.

No matter how convincing I think I am, the Cow Boss always tells me no.  Yesterday I realized why.  QT and I were dragging meadows.  We were rocking out the IPOD, we had the heater on (it was a little chilly), and keeping up with our current events on Facebook.  So glad I farm now and not 100 years ago, but I digress!  We were headed back to the house and saw one of the roping heifers was out.  So we decided to put her back where she belonged.  She was in a small pasture with Julio's dry milk cow and a few other heifers, and it wasn't going to be any trouble to put her back because she was following the Kubota, which is also the feed tractor.  We just drove through the gate, she followed, and we shut it behind us.

Hind sight being what it is, I should have known that was way too easy!  In order to get out of their pasture, I had to drive through a second gate.   I opened it, went to get back in the tractor, and before I could get in gear, the milk cow had lead half of the heifers through it.  I should have just drove through, then worried about putting them back  after.  I herded them back, pushed them way past the tractor, climbed in, and before I could get in gear, they were back through the gate.  We did this for 15 minutes.  Not only was the milk cow hard to push, no amount of beating or cussing could get her to take a step back into the pasture, she can run pretty fast when there is an open gate she wants to go through.  Plenty of swear words later, a neighbor happened to see my problem and came to guard the gate so I could drive through.

I've come to the conclusion that until my help is big enough to drive through gates for me, I wold rather pay the $3 for a gallon of milk!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Branding Season!

We finally got to brand some calves last week!  It feels like forever since last branding season.

TR and QT got to go too.  TR likes donuts so we had to stop at the donut shop to get some for everyone.  He likes to eat all of the frosting and sprinkles off, then leave the rest for anyone who is hungry.  It's a good breakfast on a branding day!  We also had to pack all of our toy cars so they would have something to play with on the back of the pickup!  They had a really good time, complete with pop, and all the cooked calf fries they could eat.  TR even looked up at the right time to seem mom rope a few calves!

QT gets a first hand look at where their calf fry lunch comes from.  Being the baby, he wasn't sure about all that was going on, and all of the loud noises.  Lucky for me cowboys like kids and puppies so there was always someone happy to pack him around (besides mom)!

As you can tell, it has already started.  I'm quite impressed, last year TR wouldn't touch a calf with a 10 foot poll, and the Cow Boss was able to get him on one this year.  I'm going to have to have a talk with him about riding anything of the bovine family.  Hopefully he will learn cows are for roping, not riding!

Sneaking one out of the bunch.

What are the odds of 2 south paws at the same branding?

That was the highlight of our week last week, and will be the highlight of the weeks to come!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

"We wanna brand calves!"

TR finally got his wish.  After begging his mom for 2 weeks to go brand calves we finally had the opportunity to go!  I have to admit we are kind of redneck.  We throw the boys int he back of the pick up and leave them there.  When you think about it though, it is the safest place to be.  Especially if mom is kind of selfish and would rather be dragging calves to the fire instead of kids out of the way!

My kids weren't the only ones there either.  My sister in law brought her 3 girls out and they kept the boys entertained.  Last year we put the portable play pen on the flat bed pick up for the boys to play in.  They are too big now!  It was the nicest day we have had all year, and we even took off our sweaters!  Even though the boys were pretty busy playing, TR did take time out to watch is dad rope a few.

I believe this is the loop that TR yelled out "Goodt loop DadT"  I have to admit it was a pretty nice back hand.  We aren't sure where TR gets the German accent either!

Uncle Isaac got in on the action and roped a few too.

When we got everything branded and turned out QT took a ride with mom.  I have to thank my sister in law for sneaking a picture of QT and I.  Most days I am behind the camera and have very few pictures of myself with my little cowboys.

We are so blessed to be able to raise our boys the way we were raised.  To put down roots and teach our babies the importance of family, and to foster a love of the out doors and horses!  Next time there just might be pictures of my little cowboys riding calves!