Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ahh, That Country "Moo-sic"!

Well, if you live on a ranch this time of year, you know what that means! The Rancher and I will be serenaded all night... oh, the romance of it all. It's weaning time and not more than 100 yards from our bedroom window there are 128 bawling calves and 128 bawling cows. Now, we do this with as little stress as possible (to the cattle that is!). We use a method called "across-the-fence-weaning". We gather all of the cattle into the corral, and then sort the cows and calves apart. We then turn the cows into a pasture on one side of the corral, and turn the calves out on the pasture on the other side of the corral. These pastures share a fence. A really, really stout fence. This way the cows and calves can still "talk" to eachother and touch noses. Beyond the fenceline they have fresh grass and water. "Makes perfect sense," you might say. How would it be done differently? Well, more often than not, cattle are weaned by locking the calves in the corral and hauling the cows far off to the other side of the ranch. The calves bawl and walk for many days, stirring up the dust as they do. The results are a lot of respiratory problems and other sickness in already stressed calves. Then the calves need to be "doctored" or treated with antibiotics. Well, since we sell our cattle as beef directly to the customer, with no hormones, and no antibiotics, that would significantly reduce the number of cattle we could sell that way. So we need to use a lower stress, healthier for the cattle, method. While we will be serenaded tonight, tomorrow there will be significantly less "moo-sic" and by Thursday or Friday all should be quiet on our peaceful little ranch again. (No laughing from the peanut gallery, please!)

Monday, November 3, 2008


Okay, as shocking as it is that I am actually posting to my blog, we REALLY DID have an earthquake here this morning. I had just woken up, barely, and was still lying in bed when everything started to shake! It only lasted about 5-10 seconds, but I heard things on the walls rattling and felt the whole world shaking! I asked the Rancher, "Did you feel that?" he was mostly still asleep and said "No." After I got up and started the coffee, I checked the USGS website and sure enough there was a big red dot in the middle of Wyoming indicating an earthquake within the last hour! It was recorded at 6:13 am, and when I thought enough to look at the clock to mark the time it was 6:14 am. I talked to a neighbor this morning and though she didn't feel it, apparently it isn't as uncommon as I would like to think living here in central Wyoming. She had some great stories of one or two "doosies".