Where We’ve Been!

 

You may have noticed that we have not blogged much lately! This is because we are in our ‘down time’ on our ranches. And as you see, this ‘down time attitude’ has spilled over to our blog! We are just enjoying not doing too much.

The 4-6 weeks after ‘Round Up’ in a BC Ranchers life is a ‘slower’ time. It is a chapter to putter around, fix here and there. We manage, rather than ‘nose to the grindstone’ work! Since we are fortunate enough to have fall grazing for our mother cow herd, days are spent checking on the herds salt and water bi-weekly, and rest of the days spent fixing fence around the yard. We prepare for calving, making sure the corrals, feed bunks and fences are in good working order. As a rancher, you learn to profit from and cherish these slow times, as they are few. Getting into December, our ‘down time’ is dependent on the weather. As my mother says, no one is more dependent on the weather than the Farmer/Rancher! If we get a lot of snow, and the cows can no longer get to the grass, then our ‘down time’ is over and we have to start feeding everyday.

Funny though, even though I talk about ‘down time’, work is still being done. The weaned calves have to be fed every 3 days or so. These are the calves that did not go to market, either they are replacement heifers (future moms) or late off the range. Feeding them requires us to move the feeders to clean ground, bring round bales to the feeders, and cut the strings off the bales. This takes about 1/2 an hour. Moving the feeders spreads the natural fertilizer over the field. (And so you can learn from our mistakes: Always cut the strings off the round bale! One time a few years ago we thought we’d try and reduce feed wastage and we left the stings on. We went up the next day to find a bunch of calves had ripped out their eartags, as they caught the string behind their eartag backer. We know now it was a silly thing to do to try and save a bit of feed. Live and learn.)

We usually do not open our silage pit until we start feeding the cow herd. When we have to start feeding everyone, then the calves will move onto silage instead getting hay.

Well, I wanted to keep you informed as to why we hadn’t written much lately! Forgive us and we will continue to teach you of our ranching ways and what keeps us busy 🙂

Erika Fossen

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2 thoughts on “Where We’ve Been!

  1. Lydia Holter says:

    I love reading your blog posts! I recently moved to BC from SK (lived 10 years in SK), and am originally from Montana. While I have never lived an actual ranch, my family did have around 60 head of cows. Some beef and some dairy. I can relate to so many of your posts, especially the last one about moving the cows and them be obstinate! LOL! We’d move our herd 3 1/2 miles every fall to a separate piece of land we owned and learned very quickly that the bulls should be trailered instead of going with the herd, as they would always try and turn the herd back.
    I am currently working just with horses (Akhal-Tekes) and I miss having the cows around. They sure add personality to a farm/ranch!
    Keep the posts coming! I would someday love to live/work on a ranch! And, yes I know that it’s not all fun and games. 🙂 I’ve been out feeding the cows in -30*C weather, repairing the fence in pouring rain, and fighting off swarms of mosquitoes while tagging calves. Still love it!
    Lydia

    • 2erikas says:

      Loved reading your comments! Thank so much. So true about bulls trying to turn back the herd, they can be a real pain! Nice hearing about your life 🙂

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