First Ranch Life YouTube Video!

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Hey guys!  I started a YouTube channel so that all of you guys could see some things in video, and not just in picture.  I am so excited!  I should still be posting on my blog along with some YouTube videos.  I will also make sure to let you guys know every time I put up a new video.

 

Here is the link to my video.

https://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=msVph4pT7RE

Written By: britt

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Ranch Cattle Drive

Today, we chased cows a little over six miles down the road to a field that they will graze on until we have to start feeding them hay for the winter.  It’s their last chance to graze before winter.

It has been awhile since I’ve ridden a horse, and when I swung into the saddle, it felt great!  I can’t explain the wonder of feeling the every movement of your horse under you!

Okay, back to the subject at hand.  The weather was beautiful for the first mile or two, then is started getting pretty windy.  It was windy the rest of the ride, but it was still lots of fun.  We had just gotten home and horses unsaddled before the cold and snow hit.  The snow only lasted for about fifteen minutes, though, but the howling wind and cold has continued all day.  So, in short summary, we got cows to their pasture in perfect timing.

Here are some picture that Tierra took on the cattle drive.  Enjoy!

Here is Tierra taking pictures on Cowboy!

 

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Further down the road!

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Tierra enjoying her ride!

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That’s all for now!  Everybody enjoy the Christmas season!

Britt

Picking 4-H Steers

For the last month, Colton, dad, and I have been checking out the steers in the feedlot, picking out what steers we liked the best. Last week, we made our final pick on three of the steers we had an eye on.  One steer for Colton, one for me, and a buddy steer. A buddy steer is an extra steer that we have, just in case something happens to one of our steers; he’s basically a back up. 🙂

Here are some pictures of the steers. Although, I was having a hard time keeping the steers stay still long enough to take a picture. 🙂

image Sorry this one is a little blurry 😦 But, I hope you agree with me that these calves are pretty cute.

 

Click image for larger view!

Our steers are in between seven and eight hundred pounds right now. Our goal is to get our steers around 1370 lbs at fair. Our fair will be somewhere between the beginning to the middle of August

What do we look for in a 4-H calf?

Every person has their preference as to what they like in their calf, but I will tell you what Colton and I look for in ours (although, even we sometimes have different views on a calf). When looking for a calf, we look for: Spring of rib (nice and wide through the body), carries down deep into the flank (look at the diagram below for different parts of the body), wide in the rump, big boned, nicely muscled, and longer bodied.  These are the main things I am looking for in my steer.

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Sorry everybody; I couldn’t figure out how to make this image any larger, so if you want it larger, just click!

January 2nd, every kid who has a 4-H steer, will take their steer to weigh in. At weigh in, every steer is weighed and gets a 4-H tag. The tag is just  an I.D. to show that, that certain calf is a 4-H calf. When the steers get to fair, they will all be weighed again. That way, everybody can see how much their 4-H steer grew from weigh in to fair.

My job with my steer is to get him all tamed down and halter broke for fair. I will do lots of working with my steer when summer hits. Walking him every day and washing him. But, I will tell you more about that when the time comes. 🙂

I think that’s all for now. 🙂 I will keep you updated on our steers and let you know what their names are and all that fun stuff! 🙂 God Bless!

Britt

Ranch Chores

Hello everybody! The other evening, I went and helped dad with chores. Chores on Silver Spring Ranch are done twice a day, at seven in the morning, and at four thirty in the late afternoon. Morning chores consist of feeding horses, some cows by our barn, and the calves in the feedlot.  The horses and cows by the barn are fed hay, and the calves in the feedlot are fed hay topped off with pellets.  Each calf gets about eight to nine pounds of grain a day (not including the hay). In the evening, just the feedlot calves need to be fed.

How is feeding the calves in the feedlot done? A ranch worker, Fernando, goes through first with a tractor and hay feeder, feeding the calves hay.  Next, grandpa and dad come through feeding pellets. The calves eat the pellets right on top of the hay.

Why feed the calves pellets? Grandpa’s plan is to feed the calves in the feedlot for a month and than sell them. From our feedlot, the calves will head to another feedlot, and from there head to slaughter. The pellets help the calves gain weight; they also have different minerals in the pellets that are healthy for the calves.

When dad and grandpa feed every morning and night, they always keep an eye on the calves to make sure everything is healthy; if there is one that doesn’t come up to eat with the others, they always check them out to make sure they’re feeling okay. For the past week, dad and grandpa have been dealing with a calf that bloats when he eats pellets.  The calf will eat too many pellets and his gut will fill with air.  There are two different kinds of bloat a calf can have, dry bloat and wet bloat.  Dry bloat is when a calf’s gut fills with air.  Wet bloat is when his gut fills with foam that holds in air pockets. Wet bloat is different to get rid of than dry bloat. In our case it was dry bloat. To get rid of dry bloat we had to take the calf to a chute, being careful not to run him; making him run could result in too much stress on his heart.  You can make your own outcome but, it wouldn’t be very good. Dad took a plastic tube and stuck it down the calf’s throat, into  his rumen; air came flowing out of the tube. You would not believe how amazingly that calf’s huge belly shrunk!  Dad also gave him some pills to make his belly feel better. The pills were like tums for calves. He will probably be back to normal in the next day or two, but he will never be able to have a diet with pellets in it because obviously, he would bloat. So, grandpa won’t be able to sell him to a feedlot.

If a calf had wet bloat, how would you get rid of it? The first step would be to get the bloated calf in a chute. Just like dry bloat, you need to be careful not to put too much stress on the calf (like making them run or squeezing the chute when they’re in it). As I have said earlier in the post, wet bloat is when the calf’s belly is filled with foam and air. The foam holds the air in different pockets, making it harder to get the air out of the calf’s gut. The calf is given a substance called “Therabloat.”  “Therabloat” is a soapy kind of substance that gets bubbly and breaks the surface tension of the foam in the gut, making it easier to get the air out of the calf. But, lucky for us, our case was just a dry bloat.

And yes, the calf is doing just fine now.  But, he can only eat hay because of the pellets causing bloat. I hope you were able to have some understanding, through this post, of how to cure a bloating calf. 🙂

Thanks for reading and God Bless!

Britt

 

 

 

Home For the Winter

Most of the cows are now home from the mountains for the winter; the rest will come home in November. October has been a busy month, consisting of getting cows ready to bring home and bringing them home.  October 8th-11th, Thur-Sun was roundup. We went up on Thursday and came home Sunday. For roundup we take our camper up to camp and stay up in the mountains through the weekend. Those days were filled with gathering cows and taking them to a holding pasture where they would stay until we trailed home; roundup went very smoothly.

Saturday, October 17th, we pushed all the cows and their calves out of the holding pen and took them to the corrals. At the corrals we sorted cows from calves. Later that day semi trucks came up and loaded the calves and took them home so that they didn’t have to take the long walk down the trail. The cows however, got to look forward to a 36 mile walk in the next two days.

October 18th, a Sunday, the adventure of trailing begin. It dawned bright and beautiful, a little hot, but hey, better than rain or snow right? It was a 16 mile trail down the gravel road and we had tired cows ready for a night’s rest.

Day two, Monday October 19, was a little cooler and perfect weather for trailing. After a good nights rest, belly’s full of hay, the cows where ready for day two of trailing, 20 miles to home. The first eight miles was on gravel, and the last six miles was on gravel; the rest of the way was on pavement. Trailing went well, and the cows made it home to pasture in the late evening. Man, is it good to have the cows home!

The next day which was a Tuesday, we vaccinated all the calves that came home from the mountains. The cows and the calves were separated so the calves could be weaned at the feed lot.  The Steers (castrated male calves) and heifers (female calves) will be fed at the feedlot until sold.  All the steers and some of the heifers will be sold.  Dad and grandpa will pick some of the heifers to raise calves.

Thanks to grandpa I have a few pictures from the trail drive. If you have any questions ask in comments. Thanks, for taking the time to read this 🙂 God Bless!

Britt

Click on pictures for larger view 🙂

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Sorry but photo’s would only work small or they would get blurry.  This photo is of Grandma, Stran, me (Britt), Molly (the sweet dog on the right), and Dunny (My horse). 🙂

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Cows trailing home.  If you look very closely you can see Colton on the left of the cows and Dad on the right. 🙂