July 30, 2016 – Cow Cow Ranch Happenings

Well, this week went by rather quickly.

Last Friday Jer had moved the cows on Cox’s from the field behind the houses to the field above Granny’s. He thought it would last them a week, but it’s only about a acre–a little less–and 13 cows, calves, and a bull is quite a bit of pressure on that small of a space. It lasted until Wednesday. I would have rather moved them on Tuesday, but just didn’t have time to put up temporary fence in the orchard. Had doc appointments in Junction.

Gayle informed us last week that she had sold her place and we would have to be out by September 1. Had already told her a few weeks before that the cost to buy us out of the lease would be $1500, what we’ve put into it. She apparently thinks that one cutting is going to help bring that $1500 down. She’s going to be disappointed. Kendalls schedule allowed them to cut at the beginning of this week, August was up in the air. Sixteen and a half bales of all grass–so light bales. GPS on tractor said 12 acres of ground. I’m waiting for the bill from Kendalls to notify Gayle of what we will take to be bought out of the lease.

The math:

1,200 lb bales x 16.5 bales = 19,800 lb. / 2000 lb. = 9.9 tons

12 acres / 9.9 ton = 1.21 ac/ton

Can also do 9.8 ton / 12 acres = 0.825 ton/ac

Not good. Not good at all.

Because it has been so difficult to get water across fields, and things have been growing so slow, it just doesn’t pencil to hay some of the fields. We will just be putting the cows on and getting fall pasture. Hopefully can stretch long enough that we don’t have to start feeding hay until way late. If we get super-lucky, we won’t have to buy any hay. We’ll have to calculate after we do get hay cut. Right now it is cheaper to buy hay than make it (yes, I’ve already got that as a post topic; I have to write that one).

Haying and Pasture Plan for Fall 2016

Gayle’s will be gone, and we couldn’t have put animals on it anyway.

Winchester, we’re going to hay the new seeding on the east field after we get water across it–hopefully this weekend will be the end. Water will be put over on the west field and we will just dump across it probably until water goes off; I’ll have to ask Jer if the new seeding will have to get water again to keep the seeding. We can’t pasture it this year; can pasture the west field–and will because it’s not worth haying it again.

Dan’s will get the irrigation the week of Delta County Fair, which starts the 5th of August. Ralph said we could have the water that whole week. Hopefully can get across Dan’s in that week. Was going to talk to Jer and see about maybe pushing some of Carl’s water over to Dan’s so we could get across. A few more days of fall pasture….that’s a few bales worth of hay.

Hay calculations just for the cows (not counting heifers, steers, or bulls):

23 cows x 1000 lb = 23,000 lb

23,000 lb x 3% = 690 lb

Gayle’s hay will go down to the house to be fed at the corrals. The bales fed at Cox’s will be a bigger–1300 lb. Will be feeding 1/3 bale/day to start, since they will still have some pasture to scrounge on. When no pasture, will have to go to 1/2–maybe a little more–per day. Maybe. Depends on how the girls do with their condition. Was only feeding 15 lb. per cow (and feeding 4 deer that weren’t in the calculation, so cows were getting less than 15 lb. per cow) spring before last, and they had fat rolls on their tails. Last winter was doing 1/4 bale, but they were pushing fences really bad; went to 1/3 bale and they were much more content and stopped jail breaking. I’m not above bribery!

Cow’s on Carl’s are going to have to be moved pretty soon. Probably this weekend. Don’t have anywhere for them to go except Cox’s. Jer isn’t going to be happy about it, but that’s what there is.

Cox’s – decided we may take hay off the lower hayfield, but going to have to pasture the upper hayfield.¬†Jer moved cows up to the field behind the houses at Cox’s this morning when he irrigated. After he finished irrigating, we put up temp fences and made paddocks to rotate the cows through the upper hayfield to graze it off. Seven paddocks total now, if we can get an average of three days per paddock, it will give each paddock 21 days rest. Doesn’t seem very promising.

The herd and Hope camping out under the trees while we ran fence to make 4 paddocks out of the upper hayfield and orchard.

The herd and Hope camping out under the trees while we ran fence to make 4 paddocks out of the upper hayfield and orchard.

 

Water Woes

Paul Schmucker, the water commissioner, was going to meet me up at Winchesters this past week to make sure all the shares were going to Winchester, but there was some problems getting numbers to jive for Baker’s shares. Still waiting to hear. Find it interesting (coincidence) that Baker’s brother used to run Winchester’s with no problem; as soon as he wasn’t running it, there was “not enough water.” Whether Baker was using some of their shares on Winchester or decided to nudge the box and take some of Winchester’s…. It would answer a lot of questions. But then again, it could be nothing and Winchester’s just takes three times-plus as much water than Cox’s.

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I snapped this picture from the lower part of the upper hayfield, looking north. The prairie dogs habitat has really cost us in hay production…the holes make it impossible to get water down the field. No irrigation, end up with dirt.

Power Getting Older

Power is really starting to show his age. Jer and I talked last night and decided it was best to not put him in with any other bulls this year. Power thinks he’s big and tough still, but he’s getting to be a frail old man. Going to be a sad day…

Chickens Started Laying

The chickens have started laying. I think we have 3 laying, since it seems the first egg is tiny and has no yolk. I’ve had 3 of those. We’re getting 1-2 eggs a day; the shells are *really* hard. For how much they eat, these girls should be cranking out the eggs! Still having determined if I want to feed them through the winter or get rid of them. The kids really love the chickens, but they are messy….both the kids and the chickens!

Hope and George

Jen has been working with Charlie and Hope. Only going to get two days in this week because Tuesday evening Hope was doing really good, then started getting sullen when a storm rolled in. Charlie got off, Jen got on (with Charlie’s saddle, no stirrups), Hope tossed Jen. Jen was going to ride Hope Wednesday evening, but Jen hurt her ankle when she came off. Thursday ankle still wasn’t good enough. Friday Jen was busy. Today is Saturday and Charlie was supposed to get to ride. We’ll have to see what the plan is.

George – I rode George three mornings in a row week before last — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Jer hooked up the trailer for me (he’s so nice), but then had to take it up to Kwiki to get the wiring worked on. They took all week, so never got to take George to the fairgrounds like I wanted to. This week was filled with doctors appointments. Harry Ferrier (the farrier) called me at one of my doc appointments; I was going to have George shod, but why when I’m not going to get to ride until September now? Put it off.

Note: George hadn’t been ridden in about¬†6 years. The last time was the day I found out I was pregnant with Marion (who will be 6 in January 2017). I jigged George around for about 5 minutes, which he wasn’t cooperating–I didn’t have the right tools–and then just got on him. Completely uneventful. A relief. I’m too old to ride the rough ones anymore. He did start getting a bit surly on the third morning…which was why I wanted to go to the fairgrounds. Contained space so when I get tossed I don’t have to chase him as far.

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Now have a schedule that I was going to use – Monday Meme, Tuesday Truth, Educational Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Friday Funny, Saturday Ranch Life Diary, Sunday Sabbath Meme. But I’m getting so many topics for education and information that I’m not sure I’ll be able to limit the truth, educational, and thoughtful posts to three days per week. It would take over a year to get through all the posts! But I also have to come up with the time to write the posts. Hoping winter will give me a little more time (less daylight generally gives me more time to do “inside” things); plus with the kids in school–three full time and Rosie goes for 3-3/4 hours–I could go to the library and write posts. It’s a nice thought and good plan, execution will be the issue. This will be the first time that I’ve had no kid(s) in tow. It’ll be a new experience!

Any suggestions on the timing of posts? Because I also like to be able to discuss and comment and reply. The point is to start conversations, not just roll out blog posts. Some posts start more conversation than others. Also, if you have any post topic suggestions, I’m always looking for more. I’ll get the flow of posts figured out! Please don’t be shy about suggesting post topics!

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