Welcome to our ranch near Canada's west coast in Beautiful British Columbia's West Chilcotin mountain region. Where calling the vet means hollering back at the house to bring your kit, new friendships are formed from the back of a horse and true fun for a five year old is getting a machete for Christmas. Where 'cutting the dinks off' has a totally different meaning than what first comes to mind, Muck Boots are a household name, a hand shake still means something and the coffee is always on.

Monday, 22 February 2016

And around we go again

Was just over a year ago that I started on this blog adventure....  Perhaps I could even be done writing now....there are always new stories of course, but basically the cycle repeats over and over.

Calving season, turn out and range riding season, trail riding season, haying season, hunting season, round up and shipping season and then a few quieter winter months (this year I could call it 'fencing season').

Waiting their turn.

We spend the last week or so moving cattle back to the main ranch at Six Mile and 'processing' them.  By that term I mean that we sort and organize and put them through the chute system.  The first calvers get their new eartags which are "A's" this year.  So we have Ana, Amy, Adell, Astro, etc.....and Anus.  Gawk...male humor...not mine.  The jokes ran wild and will continue to.  Comic relief I guess, but poor little cow, sure hope she can't read.  Or at least none of her friends can.    

(If you are curious about our tagging system, you can click here for the explanation I wrote last spring.  Hopefully it works....)   

Anyhow, all of the cows get a vaccination shot, which will help prevent scours (diarrhea) within the calf herd.  We carefully write down the numbers of all the cows, replace any tags, note any problems or potential problems (feet needing to be trimmed etc). 

Paul and Dad rolling out feed before letting the cows in to eat. 

Although the cows are sorted (with the first and second calvers being fed separately) all the time, the entire herd is sorted again for those that appear to be calving earliest.   They remain sorted by age as the young cows simply need more care, and have a higher potential for calving difficulties.      

 Those not deemed 'close' are fed (and checked very carefully every day) up on the hay meadow.    Yes, it is a lot of work.  But our calving pens, compared to our herd, is pretty small and it's best to keep the congestion to a minimum.  We sort everything at least once a week, if not more, all season long.    

Another day I'll explain how we 'sort' and how we come to the best guess of which cows are 'close'.... (trust me, we are not always right!) 

Our newest helper Marina (riding Sorbay) and Bree on the feed grounds at Five Mile.  

So finally the cows are moved, processed and sorted, pens are cleaned, barns are prepared and we are pretty much ready to go.  Any day now........  (Technically we should start the beginning of March, but they are really terrible about reading the calendar.)  In fact, as the temperature drops tonight, Eli is going to head up for the first night check.  

Oh, I guess I did not mention that we ALL move to Six Mile for about 6 weeks during the calving season.  That big house gets pretty small when the Hatch family moves in! 

Okay, enough for now....best enjoy these last few nights of solid sleep.  :)   


Photo credit to Leslie N.  


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