Days of July

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The days of July have been full!  We are busy putting up feed for our cows and keeping cows where they are supposed to be on the range.IMG_3271

Our super-duper Range Riders!

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Here we are working with a 2 year old horse, ‘Rock’, getting him used to us being around.

Check out this video of rounding up some stray cows out of a pasture.  If you have ever played the game iHerd, this reminded me of it!  Except, instead of sheep and 2 dogs, I have a husband on a horse, and a few dogs!  The girls and I were on one ridge and he was down on the other.

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This was a cover crop of spring rye that was planted along with Alfalfa.  The spring rye is a annual and is seeded to help compete with weeds and give a crop in the year the alfalfa is established.  It is under our pivot and did very well!  Hopefully it did not harm the alfalfa getting established!  This is the field we had planted to corn last year.

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This is one of Doug’s little buddies.  The hawks’ follow the silage chopper around the field and catch the mice that get exposed.  Their timing is impeccable.  Every year when the chopper shows up, they are close behind.  They spend the day swooping and diving around the tractor.  This one is having a deserved break, resting on the centre pivot.

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The view from Doug’s office.

~Erika Fossen~

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Meet You At the Watering Hole

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This is a picture of a new trough we installed to an area last week.  The next week we gathered up the herd and pushed them down to show them the new watering hole.

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Even though cows do travel in the pastures they are in, it is very important to move them to the areas they are not using.  IMG_3065 IMG_3068 IMG_3074

The grass was awesome in this corner of the pasture but since the water was minimal, they didn’t like hiking down there.  Cows are creatures of habit and you have to show them new areas.  This herd is mostly our 1st time calvers and have never been on this pasture before, so they need to be directed where the sweet spots are.

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It is also good to do a ride like this to check on the bulls and cows and calves to make sure everyone is healthy and happy.

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Who knew that horses would make such good ladders for picking Saskatoon berries!  On our way back from moving the cows to the new watering hole, we picked enough saskatoon’s to make a couple of pies.  Ummmmm!

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Riding is such an important part of our ranch management.  Sometimes we question wether we can afford to ‘take the time to ride’, but whenever we do it we get a lot done and we say to ourselves, ‘Good thing we came up here and did this!’  Seeing the cows standing in the best grass available, taking a sip from the new water trough; shows us it is important.

~Erika Fossen~

 

 

Keepin’ Busy

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Heading home after a successful pasture clear-out.  Right now with the heat, we ride either early morning (being finished by 11 am) or later evening.  We had heat of 38 degrees celsius for the last few weeks.

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After a mile of straight down hill, sometimes to keep from ending up riding on your horses ears you make the decision to get off, lead down the last slope and then readjust saddles at the bottom.  Pictures often do not do the hills steepness justice.

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The Fossen Ranch Cowgirls.

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Some miles to cover on a evening ride, searching for cows before the sun goes down.  Found the cows, got them moved and got back to the trailer at 10:45 pm in the dark.  Drove home to a spectacular lightning storm and a 10 minute downpour just as we had to unsaddle.

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If we’re not on the horses we are on this trusty steed: our JohnDeere Gator.  Our dogs cruise at 30 km/hour behind us, doing a quick 10-15 km pasture check.  We’ve clocked our year old puppy at 52 kms/hour!

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Heading out on a 4H Ranch Horse Range Ride, a convoy of truck & trailers.

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The 4H moto is ‘Learn To Do By Doing’.

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Enjoying the scenery.  There was a mama brown bear with two cubs over the hill.  Doug stayed back with the dogs to allow the kids to get a look.

~Erika Fossen~