Category Archives: Ranch Life

This Is What We Do

 

 

 

When I got up this morning I had my day all planned out…do some cleaning, some paperwork, make a nice lunch…BUT, it didn’t quite happen that way.  Nope, my morning didn’t go at all like I had planned.

I had just stepped out of the shower and had gotten dressed when Jonesy called me and there was urgency in his voice.  He had taken Leo (one of the horses) and rode over to check on the spring heifers that are calving and found one that needed help.  It was a pretty bad situation as the heifer had been trying to have the calf for some time.  She had gotten the head and front shoulders out,  but it was a big calf and she couldn’t seem to make any more progress.  Unfortunately the calf was already dead.

So after Jonesy told me what was happening and gave me a list of supplies to bring I quickly gathered up what was needed to pull the calf  and headed over to the pasture as fast as I could (wet head and all).  By the time I got there, our hired hand Kate (who I call Girl Friday) was there doing what she could to help.

Actually it’s kind of a helpless situation.  This poor heifer was clearly tired and in pain and I felt so bad for her.  All we could really do is get the calf out as quickly as possible so she could have some relief.  She was kind of in a tricky spot too with briar bushes and thorn trees on three sides of her.  Jonesy and Girl Friday worked together while I did what I could by “hold this, and hand me that”.   Finally, the calf was free and as the heifer breathed a sigh of relief.

Jonesy and Girl Friday were worn out.  I stood there with some long angry red scratches on my arm and a chunk out of the end of a finger and felt helpless.  All the things I wasn’t getting done, not being able to save the calf, seeing the poor mama in misery just got to me in that moment.  I felt tears trying to form and Jonesy gently reminded me that this is what we do.  When you ranch, there is life, there is death, and a whole lot of other stuff in between.  You have to do the best you can, when you can and then move on to what comes next.  (Or for me in this case, go back to what I was doing).

My mother-in-law always used to say “It’ll Be There”, and guess what…all my paperwork, dishes and dirty floors were waiting for me when I got back.

Some days are harder than others.  Trees fall on fences, cows get out, horses get hurt.

But…This is what we do.

Some days are easier than others.  Trees are in full bloom, cows have healthy calves, we can enjoy the view between the ears of a horse.

This is what we do.

Thanks for reading,

Be blessed

-Loriblog button

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It’s Been Awhile

Gracious!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I wrote a blog post!  To be honest, I really havent been all that busy, but now that the weather is teasing us with a bit of spring, maybe I will have something to post about.

Here is a recap of what we’ve been up to.

Last week we went to the sale to buy pigs.  I’ve really been wanting to add a few to our little ranch family.  Well, we only came home with one little piggy.harley hog  I was a little disappointed, but now I know it was for the best.  Turns out, the cost of raising a pig is more than I remembered.  We paid $56.00 for the little guy, and a ton of feed is about $130.00.  We could have bought a fat hog ready to go for $150.00.  Oh well, I will be able to raise him slow and allow him to mature so he will be nice and lean for us.  Plus, there is just something about raising your own food and giving less money to the grocery store.

 

 

We have endured another time change.  I love having more daylight, but it’s sometimes hard to adjust.  I posted this picture to the CBR Facebook page.

chief laying down

 

 

It kinda seems like he is having trouble adjusting too! lol

 

 

Our spring herd has begun to have their calves.  This is alway so exciting!  I love, love, love new babies!

calf

 

 

 

The markings on this little girls face are so unique.

 

So far we have 3 calves on the ground.  All 3 are heifers (girls).

Today I spent some time catching up on paperwork, and then went outside to clean out my garden shed before all the critters take over.

I’m getting excited to get my garden started.  I just hope Mother Nature isn’t playing a joke on us and decide to dump a bunch of snow on us in the next few weeks.

 

 

I’m working on a post about how it all began for us here at CBR, so stay tuned for that.  Also, you can keep up on the day-to-day happenings on our Facebook page.

 

Hope all is well with all of you!

Be blessed,

-Loriblog button

Tuesday Tour: Winter, Hog House, and Baby Socks

snow on hay

Winter finally showed up this last week.  It’s teased us off and on here in the midwest, but lately it has decided to stay a little longer.  A couple of weeks ago we got 3 inches of snow , this past Sunday night we got about 4 inches and it’s starting  to snow again now.  I am grateful however that we havent gotten as much as a lot of some parts of the country has.

Before the snow came, we were able to get the heifer bull (Winchester) out of the spring herd and back home.  The rental property where that herd is on can be a little tricky to get in and out of, so while the ground was still froze Thursday morning,   I went with Jonesy to help load the bull up.

We have been talking about getting a few hogs to raise for the freezer.  So on Friday afternoon we got the old hog shed set up and ready for some piggys.  The ground was still froze enough that it took a little work to get the pen put up. me with axhog shed If you look close you can spot ranch dog Moe in the back ground “supervising”. moe

 

 

Here he is close up.

 

 

Back in the day (about 23 years ago) we farrowed 30 sows, had 500 baby pigs and 6 boars.  That’s a whole blog post itself.

Anyhoo….I’m pretty excited to add to our little CBR family.

 

The rest of the critters seem to be handling the weather fine. ducks and hens

Even though some have frosty noses.

086If you have been following along, then you know that Jonesy and I have our first grand baby coming in August.  I can’t wait until we find out whether the baby is a boy or girl so I can start shopping!  (The groan you heard was from Jonesy.)  lol

But…..I saw these at our local farm store and could not pass them up!baby socks

 

How cute are these??!!!!!

Oh boy…being a grandma is going to be fun!

 

Until next time

Be blessed,

-Lorihomeacre blogfarmgirlfriday

So Ya Wanna Buy A Horse…?

047

I see it all the time.  It usually looks similar to this:

ISO: Dead broke, bomb proof, no buck horse for $1000.00 or less.

It doesn’t exist people!  There is no such thing!  Now, I am by far no expert, but like so many other things in this world, you get what you pay for.  Even if a horse is very well-mannered, has good training and is just a big ole sweetie,  IT IS STILL A HORSE!  Horses are prey animals and you will never, ever change that God-given instinct.gunny

Usually this type of ad also includes the fact that the horse will be for a young and/or inexperience rider.  I don’t believe folks realize that riding a horse is not as simple as swinging a leg over the saddle and saying giddy up.  Riding involves your whole body.  Your hands, knees, legs, feet, how you sit in the saddle.  There is a difference between riding a horse and being a passenger.boot in stirup

Jonesy has broken and trained many horses over the years, so I want to share with you not only what we believe is the way to buy a horse, but how we approach  selling  our horses to individuals with little experience.B

First of all, buying a horse is an investment and it should not be rushed.  It may be tempting to fall in love with and buy the first one you see, but it’s important to do some research and look at several horses.

What do I mean by research?  Start with a clear idea of what you want in a horse.  Do you want to run barrels and participate in 4H fun shows, do you want to sort and pen cattle, or simply trail ride.  Once you know what you are looking for, you can compile a list of questions to ask potential sellers.  Be specific with your questions and ask lots of them.  Be wary if your questions are met with hesitation, avoidance or discomfort.

Second, don’t buy a “second-hand” horse.  This is what Jonesy calls a horse that someone else is having problems with or can’t get along with.  If the horse has bad habits with them chances are they will have the same problems no matter who owns them.   For example, a 12-15 year old gelding that has good training, is well broke, has a million miles on him and will take care of you on the trail is priceless!  Why would someone want to sell him for a $1000.00?

When you come to CBR  interested in one of our horses it is vitally important to us that you  get along with our horse.  We want you to be successful with a CBR gelding.  We want you to meet the horse and spend a little time with him, ride him and ask questions.  You are welcome to come several times if need be.

Because we want our clients to be a success, Jonesy will take the time to show you how the horse is trained and show you the cues that get the horses feet to move.  With our horses, all it takes is a gentle squeeze with the legs to get them to move forward.   Lean back in the saddle and put your feet forward and he will stop.  (Just to name a couple.)

As a trainer, Jonesy offers a “tune up” and help with any issues that may arise.  We are always available to answer any questions.

As I said, buying a horse is an investment, it may take a little time and putting the money back to get something of quality.  But in the end, isn’t it the things we work hardest for are the things that mean the most to us?me on gunny

Me and Gunny

Me and Gunny

Thanks for readin…be blessed,

-Lorifarmgirlfridayhomeacre blogblog button

Focus

sunset

At the beginning of a new year I ask the Lord to give me a word.  A word that will be my theme, if you will, for that year.  It is something that I want fresh on my mind at all times.  Something to strive for, believe in, find comfort.   Some of the words of the past have been Grace, Restoration, and Rest.  I believe this year the word I am to focus on is……..

Focus.

Focus as defined by Websters is:

A guiding or motivating purpose or principle. (noun)

To fix one’s attention steadily toward a central object. (verb)

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not alway good at staying focused.  It seems like almost a daily struggle.  When ranching is your lifestyle, interruptions can come in all shapes and sizes and at any given moment, day or night.

Little Man

Those days it can be really hard to stay focused or to re-focus.  Then there are the days when nothing in particular is going on and I just can’t quite make it happen.

Here we are at the end of January, and I can say that I still am not as focused as I would like to be.  The good news is it’s only the end of January.

So, what is the guiding or motivating purpose I want to fix my attention on?   Several things really.  I want to be able to get more accomplished in my daily tasks.  There are everyday things to do like cooking, cleaning and helping tend the animals, etc.cooking potato  But there are seasonal endeavors… vegetable and flower gardening, helping with hay season while still attempting to keep up with dishes and laundry (nevermind the floors), preparing for winter…..to name a few.

My problem is I get distracted easlily…and, ok, I’ll admit it…social media is my biggest distraction.  Notice I said distraction, NOT addiction.  (ahem)

Anyhoo…

I bought a planner that allows me to see the whole month in one section, and in another I can make a daily list.Planner  Making a list is very helpful in keeping me on task.  I don’t get bent out of shape if something comes up and I’m not able to cross everything off for that day.  I just add it to the next day (and sometimes the next one after that).   The issue with this planner is that when I write everything down, the amount of stuff to do feels overwhelming.  That’s just the “I am a responsible adult” stuff to be done, nevermind the “stuff I just wanna do, cuz I enjoy it” stuff.  (Like blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…well, you get the idea.)

Maybe it would help if I write on my list each day DON’T GET ON THE COMPUTER!

In the meantime, I will FOCUS each day on improving my Get-R-Done attitude and hopefully by the end of the year I will be able to say that I got focused in 2015.

What about you?  Do you have a word that motivates you in the new year?

How do you keep your focus?

I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading,

-Lori

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Tuesday Tour: BURRRRR

tree

 

Cold.

I’m talking multi layered kind of cold.

Layer from head to toe kind of cold…you know…ski mask, hood, 3 shirts and a sweat shirt, winter chore coat, long johns under the jeans, insulated coveralls, 2-3 extra pairs of socks, and 2-3 pairs of gloves kind of cold!  108It’s not going to win me any beauty contests but it’ll help keep the cold out for a little while at least.  The worst thing about all theses layers, is when you get it all on and realize you have to go to the bathroom.  Just like a 5-year-old.  lol

I do this 3 times a day, because with these temps the chickens and ducks need to be checked at least that many times a day.  They need fresh (un-frozen) water and the eggs need to be gathered so they don’t freeze.  

Last week while it was still somewhat warm we got pictures of 2 of the horses that we will be taking to the Pitzer Ranch Horse Sale in Nebraska. These pictures along with the horses pedigree and other information will go to the folks at Pitzer to be put in the sale catalogue.  The sale is in April again this year.  Last year we only took one horse.   You can read about that here and here.  This year we are taking CK Kings Chex (we call him Leo)  and our big “grade gelding” Chief.  (A grade gelding is just one that isn’t registered or has papers).

Leo

Leo

Chief

Chief

I got one of Moe too. moe He loves to go with us when we go riding, so anytime we get the horses out he thinks it’s time to go for a ride.  He’s whining at me in this picture, “Please Mom?”  Not this time buddy!

The rest of this week will be all about caring for the critters in the bitter cold.  That’s the way of ranch life this time of year.  It may be cold, but it sure is pretty.sunrise

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Be blessed,

-Lorihomeacre blogblog buttonfarmgirlfriday

3 Types of Cattle Operations

Raising cattle is a unique process that involves several different types of operations.  The same rancher usually doesn’t have the animal from start to finish.  Just like the different aspects of most products, someone starts, another adds to and yet another finishes the production.  Each step is a vital part of a quality product.  It is very important to each caregiver to provide the best care possible to the animal welfare.  The occasional video you may see where livestock is being abused is NOT the norm.  After all, the bottom line for the cattle producer is at stake here.  It simply would not pay to abuse the animal.

The three basic steps to get our beef to your table are;

1. Cow/Calf operations009

2.  Backgrounders

3. Feed lots

We at CBR are basically a cow/calf operation, which means we keep a permanent herd of cows that produces a calf crop to be sold at a later date.  We also keep 2 or 3 herd bulls for optimal breeding.  Once the calves are weaned at about 8-10 months old,  they move on to the second type of operation.tank

Backgrounding is a between stage where weaned cattle are “grown” by  giving a  feed regime (turned into a pasture, high quality hay along with grains) to help increase weight and to build up immunity to disease before moving to the third stage of a feedlot.  Some operations specialize in this stage, and here at CBR we will occasionally background our calves.

Feedlots are where the animal is “finished”.  The cattle are fed specialized feed rations that consist of high protein, vitamins and minerals.  Once the animal is at the desired weight it then goes to be processed.

Each step in the process is performed by conscientious, caring ranchers.  They check their herd daily to make sure there are no illness or injuries.  They enjoy spending time with their cattle and  work hard to provide quality wholesome beef to feed the world.jonesy and bull

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what goes into producing the next juicy steak or hamburger you enjoy.

Thanks for reading,

-LoriPinterestChick75x78_zps4a0484b0blog buttonhomeacre blogcountryfair_button_zps7427c677